OSBI agents investigate cyber sex crimes involving minors

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SHAWNEE, Okla. - The OSBI is looking into alleged sexual cyber crimes involving minors in Pottawatomie County.

Officials say a student from the Gordan Cooper Technology Center in Shawnee reported that his social media account had been accessed without his authorization

OSBI officials say that report sparked an investigation in December of 2017.

Earlier this week, state investigators served a search warrant and confiscated computers and other electronics  from a house in Prague.

Officials say they were looking for evidence linking an employee of Gordon Cooper Tech Center and former youth pastor to multiple felony counts. That employee has since resigned from the center.

"Those computers will have to be forensically reviewed by one of our criminologists at the OSBI lab," said Adam Whitney, of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

News 4 went to Gordon Cooper Tuesday and talked to Superintendent Marty Lewis.

Lewis says they became aware of the situation late in 2017. He says they suspended the employee and conducted an internal investigation before turning evidence over to Shawnee police, who in-turn enlisted the cyber help of the OSBI.

Lewis said students and staff have been made aware of the situation and were told to change password for their own protection.

He also gave News 4 the following statement:

"In December 2017, Gordon Cooper Technology Center (GCTC) officials became aware of a data breach on our main campus in Shawnee based on information provided by a former student. Immediately GCTC conducted an internal review, suspended the employee in question and notified Shawnee Police Department of the data breach. Shortly after being suspended the employee resigned.  All district equipment and information surrounding the former employee were turned over to Shawnee Police Department.

As a result of the internal review, GCTC determined that the former information technology employee obtained information related to student and staff personal email accounts including passwords and user names in violation of district policy and procedures.

At that time, current students, all school districts affiliated with GCTC, and all GCTC employees were notified of the data breach and advised to change user names and passwords as a precautionary measure.

Gordon Cooper Technology Center deeply regrets that a former staff member compromised the public trust and allegedly engaged in reprehensible conduct. The district will continue to fully cooperate with law enforcement and make any additional changes necessary within our organization to minimize the risk that something like this could ever happen again."

Many high school students attend Gordon Cooper, but it might not just be the immediate tech center students who were preyed upon.

"The social media accounts that were accessed without authority might have been used to try to solicit pictures from other minors. It could be not only them but their  friends in that Shawnee area that might have been approached by this individual, from other youths accounts that he would be approaching," said Whitney.

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