PENSACOLA, FL – A school janitor in Escambia County, Florida has found himself in hot water after allegedly trying to meet a 13-year-old girl from Georgia. The janitor was taken into custody in November of 2022.
FL: School janitor, Eric William Poston, 24, arrested after allegedly trying to meet up with 13-year-old girl.
Used Instagram and Snapchat to solicit a 13-year-old student in Pensacola.https://t.co/WfpHaUyL1g
— Dalton (@DaltonReport) December 23, 2022
A 24-year-old school Janitor, Eric William Poston, has found himself in custody after allegedly developing a relationship with a 13-year-old girl. Poston had been employed as a janitor who worked at the Warrington Elementary School.
Police became aware of the disturbing case on November 15th after someone notified them that Poston had allegedly been utilizing social media to groom the young girl whom he allegedly met at Bellview Middle School when he had worked there prior.
Escambia County Sheriff’s Office learned that Poston allegedly first got in contact with the victim, whose name is not being released to protect her identity, on September 13th. During their communications, detectives allege Poston and the young girl exchanged explicit photographs and videos.
Like most suspects who groom children, Poston was not satisfied with the online communications and began suggesting that she meet with him in “real life.” Thankfully, the young girl did not make the trek from Georgia to Florida to meet with Poston, and the authorities were notified.
Detectives met with the victim and learned that she had viewed Poston as her boyfriend. She alleged that the two exchanged text messages and FaceTimed almost every day, however, she reported that she had never engaged in any sexual acts with Poston.
Detectives sought and obtained a search warrant for Poston’s cell phone which they served on November 17th. When the phone was forensically examined, detectives allegedly found not only the communications between him and her but also more disturbing videos.
Detectives stated that the victim allegedly sent Poston a video file that contained what was described as “child sexual abuse material.” Child sexual abuse material would be any image or video of an underaged child performing some type of sexual activity.
The forensic search also yielded nude images of a 16-year-old girl along with a group chat someone had named “14-18” teens.
Additionally, detectives learned had not only planned on meeting the young girl, but he also intended to allegedly provide her with alcohol, electronic cigarettes, and marijuana. Poston planned to allegedly meet her outside of a school, however, there is no mention that was the girl’s school or the one where he worked.
Poston was taken into custody by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office without incident and charged with possession of obscene material, cruelty toward a child, and obscene communication. He had been held on a $60,000 bond.
Law Enforcement Today wants to remind parents to monitor all forms of social media that their children use…and search for ones that they may not know that they have. Oftentimes, predators seek out young children and either reveal their real age and begin grooming the child or present themselves as being the same age as the person with whom they are communicating.
🚨NEW MUGSHOT: 24-year-old Eric William Poston, of Pensacola, is facing multiple charges after the Escambia County Sheriff's Office found explicit messages between him and a Georgia teen. —- https://t.co/eBemzpdEte pic.twitter.com/OdmOlXU5Sq
— WEAR ABC 3 (@weartv) December 21, 2022
Children may begin to trust the person which is what the predator is hoping for by continuing contact. The predator is also hoping that a parent or guardian has no idea what is transpiring and will start injecting sexually explicit themes in when they believe it is safe to do so.
Like in this case, after enough of a relationship has been developed, the predator will try to encourage the child to meet with them and often offer things that the child cannot get at home, like drugs and alcohol. If the child takes the bait, the predator will meet with them and either abuse them or, in some cases, start the groundwork for human trafficking.
There are a million, slight exaggeration, social media apps that are out there and more developed frequently. Make sure your children stay clear or at the very least, you are aware of any and all communications going between your children and whoever else they are communicating with online.
In addition to social media apps, predators also pose as children in online games developed with young kids in mind. These predators will work to groom the children in online games before moving to a different method of communicating.