Computer Crimes detectives last week obtained warrant in Polk County (FL) for the arrest of 31-year-old Steven Wayne Reid of Acworth on charges of Threats or Extortion, Unlawful Use of Two-Way Communication Device, Use of Computer to Seduce a Child, and Transmission of Material Harmful to Minor. He was later arrested by Bartow County authorities.
Sheriff Judd said,“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 her for immediately telling our deputy. We are afraid there are other juveniles Steve Reid has victimized – the investigation is ongoing, and he will be charged accordingly.”
According to reports, a 13-year-old female 8th grade Polk County student alerted her school resource deputy that she was contacted in early November via the mobile phone messaging application “KIK” by someone claiming to be a 14-year-old girl named “Laura” with the KIK username “laura_hench14” who was extorting her to send nude images.
According to the affidavit, soon after “Laura” initiated a conversation with the victim, “Laura” sent the victim an image of a Facebook profile with the victims’ face on it, and said, “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.”
Over the course of the day, the suspect continued to send messages to the victim coercing her to send a photo of herself wearing a bra, threatening to make the fake Facebook page public, and threatening to email the victim’s school principal with a vulgar phrase from the victim. The suspect then sent the victim a screen shot of her school’s website to prove that the suspect knew where the victim went to school and further convincing the victim that the suspect was also a teenaged girl who goes to that school.
The suspect gave the victim a deadline of 10:00 p.m. that evening to send a photo of her bra. The suspect 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. The suspect then demanded a nude photo. The victim refused. The suspect 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 suspect then sent the victim a video depicting an adult male rubbing his exposed genitals.
After the victim reported the incident, PCSO detectives positively identified the KIK username and cell phone used during the conversations as belonging to Reid in Georgia. PCSO detectives obtained an arrest warrant, and on November 10, 2015, Reid was taken into custody at his home by the Bartow County (GA) Sheriff’s Office. Bartow County investigators obtained a search warrant for Reid’s home, and while they were making entry, he was seen removing the battery from his cell phone and attempting to get rid of the SIM card.
A search of Reid’s room revealed handwritten notes with the KIK username on it and other references to KIK users. Post-Miranda, Reid admitted to extorting the Polk County girl, and that he knew she was under the age of 18. He said his goal of threatening her was to get her to send him nude photos of herself.
He also said he attempted to destroy his phone and any evidence when the Georgia investigators arrived at his home to arrest him.
Reid’s cell phone and computer were seized and Bartow County (GA) as well as Polk County (FL) detectives are conducing 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 (GA) jail.