A dean at Valdosta State University in Georgia was arrested over the weekend as part of a multi-agency child sex crime sting, according to a statement from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
Keith Walters, the 44-year-old dean of the university’s College of Science and Mathematics, was one of 14 people arrested during a four-day sting led by the GBI dubbed “Operation Broken Arrow.”
Walters is charged with one count of sexual exploitation of children and three counts of electronically furnishing obscene materials to minors, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspects in the investigation communicated online with undercover agents believing they were communicating with minors and were arrested when they traveled to meet to them for sex, according to GBI Assistant Special Agent Lindsay Marchant. The investigation involved nearly 20 agencies and took months of planning.
“In some of these cases, the subject introduced obscene or (lewd) content, often exposing the minor to pornography or requesting the child take nude or pornographic images for them,” according to a statement released by GBI. “About half of the exchanges involved websites used for dating, socializing, or even websites used for classified advertisements.”
Walters, who became dean in June, was put on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation, university spokeswoman Jessica Pope said in a statement to CNN.
“VSU remains committed to assisting law enforcement’s investigation in any way,” Pope said.
No bond or court appearance has been set for Walters, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office said.
On Tuesday, when asked by CNN for a statement or the name of his attorney, a family member of Walters responded, “No comment.”