Police in Oklahoma are apologizing for a “miscommunication” that allowed an elementary school janitor to return to work after he allegedly tried to arrange sex with a cop who he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
Capt. Adam Flowers with the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office told KFOR that “it was an oversight on our part” and Moore Public Schools in El Reno isn’t at fault.
“They had no clue,” he said. “He just walked back in after he bonded out like nothing ever happened.”
Cameron Ford, from Oklahoma City, was arrested on April 6 in a child sex sting operation. Flowers alleged the 29-year-old sent lewd messages via Facebook to an undercover police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl.
Ford started the messages on April 3, police say, telling the undercover cop that he was a “true gentleman looking for someone to begin a relationship with.” The conversation turned more sexual as a few days passed and Ford arranged a meeting on April 6 at a Walmart, police told KOKH. Police arrested the man once he arrived and placed him in the Canadian County Jail.
“We’re always concerned when adults engage in filthy sex talk with children,” Canadian County Sheriff Chris West told News9, “but we know it’s time to roll when they begin planning and executing their sick and demented rape-a-child fantasy.”
Ford told officers he worked as a janitor at Apple Creek Elementary School, about a 30-minute drive away from the Walmart, KOKH reported. He posted a $25,000 bond that same day and walked out of jail.
But police say they failed to alert the school about Ford’s arrest, according to KFOR. The man returned to work until April 11, when school officials learned about what happened after seeing it in the news.
“Once the information was received, contact with Mr. Ford was made at Apple Creek Elementary just before noon, where he immediately tendered his resignation,” the school district wrote in a statement obtained by KFOR.
Sheriff West told News9 that he was “just mortified” to learn that Ford returned to his job. He added that Apple Creek Elementary School’s principal was “gracious” after learning of the mishap.
“We failed to notify the school district that we had arrested a janitor that worked in an elementary school,” he told the station. “I was just mortified. Number one priority for me and for the sheriff’s office, it’s why we are in this program. It’s to protect children.”
Ford has since been banned from all schools within the Moore Public Schools system, per KOKH. He faces a charge of facilitating sex with a minor through use of technology.
Dustin Horstkoetter, director of safety and security for Moore Public Schools, tried to reassure KFOR that other district employees can be trusted.
“The details leading up to Mr. Ford’s arrest are highly disturbing,” he said, “and not representative of the hundreds of other hard working support staff in our district.”