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Hillsborough County School District Principal Arrested After Sending Explicit Texts – CBS Tampa

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Hillsborough County School District Principal Arrested After Sending Explicit Texts – CBS Tampa

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) — A Hillsborough County school district principal has been arrested on multiple counts after he sent sexually explicit text messages to an undercover detective he assumed was a minor.

From January 19 to January 27, 2022, undercover detectives posed as a 15-year-old boy during a chat operation to identify individuals attempting to exploit children. Derrick McLaughlin, 41, initiated a text chat on a social media app with the undercover detectives during this time. During the investigation, McLaughlin attempted to induce undercover detectives whom he believed to be a teenager to engage in sexual acts. McLaughlin is the principal of Dawson Elementary School in Riverview, Florida.

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On January 27, 2022, McLaughlin was taken into custody. He faces charges of transmitting harmful material to a minor, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, and using computer services or devices to solicit certain unlawful acts. McLaughlin made suicidal comments at the time of his arrest and was placed under Baker’s Law.

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“It’s sickening that a trusted member of our community, a school principal, is taking advantage of a child for his own satisfaction,” Sheriff Chad Chronister said. “Fortunately, it was not a child, but one of our detectives, who received his lewd messages. No child should be subjected to the disturbing behavior exhibited by McLaughlin.

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There are no indications that there are any other victims at this time. The investigation remains active. Any further updates will be posted by the Office of Public Affairs.

Hillsborough County School District Principal Arrested After Sending Explicit Texts – CBS Tampa

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