WINTER HAVEN, FL (WFLA) – Polk County Sheriff’s deputies slapped the cuffs on a Georgia man, accusing him in a case of ‘sextortion’ involving a 13-year old Polk County girl.
The investigation began after the 8th-grade victim alerted a school resource officer that she had been contacted by a girl named ‘Laura’ on the social media app KIK. According to detectives, ‘Laura began sending messages to the girl.
One read, “So listen. I’m gonna make a Facebook with your pic. I can’t stand you at school. I like you so much, but you don’t notice me. So I want to see your bra. If you do that then I’ll leave it at that. But if you refuse then I’ll do something crazy like make a Facebook saying you hate [derogatory term for African-Americans]. If you tell anyone then I’ll also do it. I can wait until you ready.”
Investigators say over the course of the day, “Laura” continued sending messages asking the girl to send him a picture of her in her bra. The suspect gave the victim a deadline of 10:00 p.m. that evening to send the photo. Authorities say “Laura” was increasingly demanding, threatening, and hostile during the hours leading up to the deadline, repeatedly saying the fake Facebook profile would be made, which would cause everyone to hate her, and the vulgar email to the principal would be sent.
At approximately 9:30 p.m. that evening, after several back and forth messages during which the victim tried to appease the suspect by sending fully-clothed selfies and a photo of a bra laying on the floor, the victim eventually sent the suspect a photo of herself wearing a sports bra and panties.
Investigators say The suspect then demanded a nude photo. The victim refused. “Laura” then said, “I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’m 30. You can’t fool me hahaha. I’m not gonna stop until all these pics are everywhere.” The victim told the suspect he was a “creepy stalker guy” to which the suspect replied he was a teacher at her school and that he would pull her into his classroom and sexually batter her. He additionally told her, “I’ll bring a gun [to school] and kill us both. I’m desperate. Take a [nude] pic and you won’t have any trouble.”
The investigation revealed, “Laura” was actually 31-year-old Steven Wayne Reid of 14 Woodcrest Road SE in Acworth, GA. Polk County detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest and he was taken into custody by authorities with the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia. He’s facing numerous charges including Threats or Extortion, Unlawful Use of Two-Way Communication Device, Use of Computer to Seduce a Child, and Transmission of Material Harmful to Minor.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says the case is troubling.
“This man, sitting in his house in north Georgia, pretended to be a juvenile on social media to befriend, and then threaten, extort, and solicit, a young Polk County girl. As scary as that was for the victim, we are so proud of her for immediately telling our deputy,” Sheriff Judd said.
Sheriff Judd said at a press conference that there are other victims out there and detectives are working to find them. He said that Reid’s wife cooperated with the authorities and helped in gathering information about the suspect.
“I don’t have enough descriptive words for him,” Judd said at the press conference.
Reid’s cell phone and computer were seized and Bartow County, GA and Polk County detectives are conducting forensic analysis on both at this time. The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is also involved. Further charges are pending the outcome of the investigation. Reid remains in the Bartow County Georgia jail.