JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Ware County teacher accused of having sex with a 16-year-old boy, and charged with potentially exposing him to HIV, now faces a series of federal charges including sex trafficking of a minor, the Justice Department announced Thursday.
A grand jury returned an indictment against Tracy Wayne Crosby, alleging that from August to November he used a phone and the internet to recruit a minor into prostitution and kept at least one image showing a child having sex, prosecutors stated in a news release.
Crosby, 42, is charged with sex trafficking of a minor, coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and possession of child pornography. He's currently being held at the Camden County jail on charges of solicitation of sodomy and reckless conduct by an HIV-infected person.
Crosby was initially booked Nov. 29 on the misdemeanor sodomy charge after a mother told Camden County Sheriff's deputies she caught him having sex with her teenage son in a car at a waterfront park in Woodbine. She followed her son there after he left home without explanation.
The initial arrest cost Crosby his part-time job as a Pierce County Sheriff's deputy, where Sheriff Ramsey Bennett said he worked two days a month for three to four years. It also led to his suspension from his teaching job in Ware County.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith, a retired Jacksonville police officer, said people who commit crimes against children tend to go after easy targets, or those they can manipulate.
Smith said it's easier for people in positions of authority over children, such as law enforcement officers and teachers, to find and groom their victims because they have regular access to children.
"What is particularly disturbing about this is you have a police officer who is a teacher," said Smith. "You're talking about two of the most trusted professions in the United States that people go to for help and security."
Prosecutors stated Crosby's indictment stemmed from an ongoing investigation led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Crosby, who remains in custody in lieu of $150,000 bail, faces up to life in prison if convicted of the federal charges.