Four Sacramento-area men, including two who have worked professionally with children, were arrested on federal charges of trying to arrange a sexual rendezvous with a teenaged girl.
During a three-week operation, a Citrus Heights police detective assumed the persona of the teen in online meetings with the men, all of whom discussed graphic sexual details and arranged a meeting with "the teen."
All four are being charged with the attempted enticement of a minor, a federal crime which carries a minimum prison sentence of 10 years. All but one are being held without bail in the Sacramento County Jail.
The accused include:
- Cameron Lovell, 27, of Sacramento
- Roger Bartlett, 66, of Roseville
- Gerald Lowrance, 42, of Woodland
- Kevin Wood, 35, of Rancho Cordova
According to court documents, Lowrance has had an association with the Autistic Programs Foundation and was fingerprinted for employment by the Woodland Joint Unified School District.
News10 has confirmed that Wood is actively working as a psychologist with special needs children at the Amador County Office of Education.
According to the criminal complaint, when Wood was questioned by police at a Citrus Heights park where the meeting had been arranged, Wood initially denied plans to have sex with the teen.
Wood reportedly told police he was a counselor who worked with children and that he had come to the park to "mentor" the girl.
"It's shocking, quite frankly," Amador County Unified School District Superintendent Dick Glock said.
Glock said a Citrus Heights police detective called his office on Tuesday to explain why Wood wouldn't be coming to work.
"At this time we don't believe there's been any inappropriate activity in the district," Glock said. "But obviously it's very early and that's one of the things we'll be checking."
The Citrus Heights Police Department was planning a news conference Thursday to formally announce details of the online operation.
Law enforcement arrested at least four people in an online sex investigation. (Wednesday, May 14, 2014) News10