Anthony Michael Peace, 37 years old, was arrested on Wednesday after an almost month-long interaction online with an undercover detective he believed to be a 14-year-old boy.
Peace has now been charged with unlawful use of a communications device, use of computer services or devices to solicit illegal acts, and five further counts of transmission of illegal materials to a minor. He was arrested at Strawberry Crest High School, where he has been working as a history teacher.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the online interactions started on Mar. 29 2021, when Peace sent the first message on social media to the detective posing as a minor. The detective was part of an undercover sting operation specifically set up to catch adults seeking sex with minors.
Over the next few weeks, Peace sent sexually explicit photos of himself, and solicited the same from the detective, according to the Hillsborough Country Sheriff's Office.
Peace has been working for the Hillsborough County School District since 2006, and, naturally, officials have taken steps to fire him.
The school district said in a press release, "Our district is shocked and disgusted by these allegations. The safety of our students is our top priority." Counselling is also available for students who wish it, in the wake of this incident.