San Jose fire captain among more than 20 arrested in child predator sting operation

Lauren Martinez Image
Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Bay Area fire captain among 24 arrested in child predator sting
A South Bay fire captain is among 24 arrested in a child predator operation. Authorities said several of these suspects are in trusted positions.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) -- The Sacramento Sheriff's Office released video of a three-day sting operation centered on Internet Crimes Against Children.

Sheriff Jim Cooper with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office said undercover detective posed as children 13-years-old and younger on various social media platforms.

"Suspects often directed these kids to commit sexual acts and-or ask for pornographic material," Sheriff Cooper said.

The operation led to 24 arrests. Several were people in trusted public positions with access to children.

"Arrested a San Jose firefighter who lives here in Sacramento, a Sunday school teacher, a United States Postal service worker," Sheriff Cooper said.

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Court documents show the Sacramento District Attorney's Office is charging San Jose Fire Captain Spencer Parker with three felonies. Parker is charged with attempting lewd acts with a 13-year-old girl.

A San Jose city spokesperson said Parker's last shift was March 31st. He was put on leave on April 11th and resigned the next day.

We spoke with legal analyst and former prosecutor Steven Clark.

"Were city resources involved in any way? Was this individual on city time during any of this investigation and it's an important I think for the city of San Jose figure out what exactly happened here," Clark said.

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During Monday's press conference Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper emphasized, the men arrested during the sting operation don't fit a particular profile- and they range in age from 20 to 70 years old.

"The guy in the walker, there's no one model - for somebody's involved in this.I can't stress enough to parents do your job. You're the parents, it's not negotiable on phones, on social media platforms know what your kids are doing," Cooper said.

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Sheriff's Sergeant Eric Steindorf, assistant commander of the Internet Crimes Against Children team, said 21 law enforcement agencies assisted in the investigation.

"One individual just to reiterate just how dangerous some of these people are - thought that he was going to meet with a 10-year-old for sexual purposes," Sgnt. Steindorf said.

Clark says these investigations are designed to prevent sexual assaults.

"So I think that's the take away -that, that's why we're doing this. Not to entrap people, but to prevent certain people from committing a crime against a child," Clark said.

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