May 9, 2022

USA: Goshen School Superintendent Serving His 5th Term Caught Soliticiting Sex With An 11-Year-Old. He Traveled 2 Hours To Meet The Child For Sex. No Charges As Police Investigate Allegations.

Cincinnati Enquirer
written by Jeanne Houck and Cameron Knight, Cincinnati Enquirer
Monday April 25, 2022

Goshen Local Schools board president John Gray has resigned after a video posted by child predator sting group shows him talking about meeting someone in Indiana he believed was an 11-year-old girl, district officials said.

Superintendent Darrell Edwards said in a statement on the school district’s website that the video brought to the attention of school officials late Saturday “is deeply disturbing to our entire school district and Goshen Local School community.

“Our district leaders will be consulting with legal counsel and should more information become available, we will communicate it to our families immediately,” Edwards said.

Edwards said Gray, who was serving his fifth term on the school board, resigned Sunday and the incident remains under investigation.

The incident occurred about 100 miles northwest of Goshen, in Farmland, Indiana.

The video was streamed on YouTube on Sunday from a group called "PCM: Predator Catchers Muncie." The group is one of many that post stings to social media. These groups film encounters with people after someone poses as a juvenile on messaging apps.

In the video, a man is talking about a potential encounter with an 11-year-old. Eventually, the man is led away by officers from the Farmland Police Department and the Randolph County Sheriff's Office, but the film shows the handcuffs are later removed and the man drives away on his own.
This screenshot from the Goshen Local Schools website shows the members of the school board, including John Gray, who resigned Sunday, according to the district superintendent.

Edwards confirmed to The Enquirer on Monday that Gray is the man in the video.

The Enquirer reached out to Predator Catcher Muncie. The group declined to comment for this article citing the ongoing investigation.

The Randolph County Sheriff's Department said it is investigating an incident, but did not confirm whether the man in the video is Gray. Farmland police would not comment on the incident and referred all questions to the county sheriff.

In 2018, a Hamilton County Sheriff's Deputy was filmed in a similar sting by a different group. The deputy resigned from his job and an administrative investigation was launched. According to Hamilton County court record available online, the deputy was not charged with a crime.

At the time, Sgt. Dave Ausdenmoore with the Regional Electronics and Computer Investigations Unit told The Enquirer that operations by such civilian sting groups don't result in criminal convictions and make it harder for law enforcement to do their jobs.

The Enquirer is working to obtain incident reports or other documentation about the video and Gray's resignation.

WCPO 9 published April 25, 2022: Parents in Goshen "stunned" after school board president's controversial resignation. Goshen School Board President John Gray resigned after admitting to driving two hours to meet up with an 11 year old girl. Parents are reacting to the confrontation caught on camera.
LOCAL 12 published April 26, 2022: Police investigate allegations surrounding former Goshen School Board President. A local school board president is out of office, and the community is outraged.
WLWT published April 28, 2022: Goshen district leaders' texts show shock and disgust regarding former board president. Goshen Local Schools board members reported being sick, disgusted and stunned as they were made aware of allegations against resigned school board president John Gray.

Cincinnati Enquirer
written by Madeline Mitchell
Thursday April 28, 2022
Screenshot of Goshen school board members discuss former board president John Gray after "disturbing" video posted online. Enquirer/Madeline Mitchell

Less than an hour before Goshen school board president John Gray appeared in a child sex sting video online, board member Deborah Gray texted the superintendent.

"I just got a disturbing email sent to my GLSD email referencing the name of a board member," she wrote. "Should I forward to you?"

"Yes," superintendent Darrell Edwards replied.

"I feel like it is fake," Deborah Gray texted.

Edwards texted another board member, Bill Herrera, at 10 p.m. Saturday asking if he also got emails about the president.

Herrera texted back that he had but didn't open the emails.

"Think there is some serious hacking going on!" Herrera wrote, and texted Edwards a screenshot of his email inbox with subject lines reading "Your John?" and "Get your President he's a Child Predator."

"Looks like an email bot/phishing/malware??" Herrera replied.

On Monday, Edwards confirmed to The Enquirer that the man in the video, who says he would like to participate in sexual activities with a person whom he believed to be an 11-year-old girl, was the former school board president. John Gray resigned from his position on Sunday. The video shows Gray talking to and in the custody of police in Farmland, Indiana, a village in Randolph County with 1,000 people about 100 miles northwest of Goshen.

The video was posted by Predator Catchers Muncie, a child-predator sting group. Members of the group pose as children online and chat with people in an attempt to identify child predators. They often schedule "meet-ups" and stream videos of the encounters online.

Text messages obtained by The Enquirer through an Ohio Public Records Act request show board members' discussion about the video before and after Gray's resignation.

'I was shaking.'

At the time the video was posted Saturday evening, John Gray was serving his fifth term on the school board. Before he resigned Sunday, Deborah Gray, who is not related to the former board president, texted superintendent Edwards again. She wrote if the president did not resign "in the next 12 hours," the board should take action to remove him.

"I can't sleep on this and am completely sick," Deborah Gray texted Edwards at 1:20 a.m. Sunday.

On Monday, Herrera texted board member Julie Casey that a local TV station had come to his home. He wrote he saw a camera crew through his Ring camera and asked if Casey also had reporters at her door.

"Ugh no, not that I know of but we aren't home," Casey texted back. "Seriously, we know nothing!"

Herrera replied: "If he's not charged or convicted of anything, he could possibly sue us if we said anything at all! How messed up is that?!?"

Casey: "It is crazy. But I think he has way bigger problems to worry about. I hope."

Herrera: "Me too. I just pray that he hadn't had contact with any children previously. I've never been so angry or disgusted in my entire life!"

Casey: "I was shaking Saturday when I saw it and yesterday turned downright angry. I am glad he resigned but even that seems to be having backlash with the people. I feel we are damned if we do and damned if we don't right now. We are not him ... and we need to be treated as such. We are just as stunned and angry as everyone else! I hope no one else comes out but I think we need to be prepared for it, sadly."

The records obtained by The Enquirer also show Edwards texted John Gray after the video was posted, sending a link to the video and asking for Gray to call him. Gray did not respond.

Investigation continues in Indiana

Randolph County sheriff's Capt. Tom Pullins said the department is investigating Gray after the incident in Indiana.

Pullins would not give any further details about the investigation on Thursday.

Edwards sent a message to district families stating Goshen school leaders will be consulting with legal counsel and will share more information as it becomes available.

The Enquirer reached out to Edwards on Thursday for an update on the investigation and received no response.

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