In the aftermath of a sexual misconduct arrest, the Attica Police Department wants to educate children and parents on how to manage modern technology.
Attica police arrested Bryce Watkins, 20, of Attica on Feb. 6 on preliminary charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and possession of child pornography.
The investigation began Jan. 27 after Attica police received a tip from the Department of Child Services. Police learned of possible sexual misconduct between Watkins and a 14-year-old girl.
After obtaining a search warrant Jan. 29, police investigated Watkins’ residence. They confiscated Watkins’ cellphone and other technology devices.
“This case went from one thing and blew up into something bigger,” Detective Ed Durnil said. “With modern technology today, this is something way bigger than many people think.”
Watkins started by using Facebook and meetme.com. He also used Snapchat, Skype and Kik Messenger.
He is currently out on bond. The investigation is ongoing, and more charges could be added. Durnil said more agencies will be involved in the investigation.
To prevent potential cases of such sexual misconduct, Durnil will coordinate a class with Attica School Resource Officer Matt Dittmer. The class will primarily focus on the use of cellphones and social media. Parents and children will learn the risks of posting explicit content on the Internet.
Durnil met with Attica school officials Tuesday to plan the event. He said it will be similar to a town hall meeting with powerpoint slides. There will be a class for parents and a class for children.
“Sexual misconduct can happen to anybody,” Durnil said. “Parents need to be aware of what their children are using on these smart phones. Smart phones are great, but they can be risky for children.”