[UPDATE] School Employee Charged With Enticing a Minor For Sex

By: LCSO Release; Julie Montanaro Email
By: LCSO Release; Julie Montanaro Email

UPDATED 10.18.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A former coach and instructional aide at a Tallahassee middle school will avoid prison time and a sex offender label.

Alfred "Trey" Arnold was arrested back in May. He was accused of trying to solicit sex from a 15 year old student at Swift Creek Middle School.

Today Arnold entered a no contest plea to one count of child abuse.

He was sentenced to five years probation and 60 days on the sheriff's work camp. He cannot have contact with children or work with them for the next five years.
UPDATED 5-18 By Candace Sweat

Parents picking their children up from Swift Creek Middle School were uneasy finding out that a trusted employee and coach was arrested.

"I'm sure it scares any parent. You always want to protect your children and you entrust them everyday to come to the school where teachers are supposed to be setting a good example. And this news does not set a good example," said Lisa Monda, whose child attends Swift Creek.

Alfred 'Trey' Arnold, an instructional aide at the school, was arrested and faces felony charges for sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15 year old through her phone.

A spokesperson from Leon County Schools says the district acted swiftly upon hearing the allegations.

"He is being terminated. The information in this case, based on the serious allegations and findings of the case to date, the recommendation of the superintendent is that we move forward with termination," said John Hunker, Chief of Safety.

Still, those with children at the school say it's the kind of information every parent dreads hearing.

"I think it's wrong and I wouldn't want my nephew around anyone who would do anything like that," said Will Carlquist, whose nephew attends Swift Creek.

"I am very shocked. I have not known coach Trey very long personally , but I have heard of him from my students, my children that he's always been very nice," said Monda.

Arnold, known as coach Trey, ran the dentition program and helped coach the athletics programs.

Hunker says Arnold passed a background check before being hired with Leon County Schools.

UPDATED 5.18.2011 6:40pm by Julie Montanaro

Parents are shocked and disappointed as a middle school employee is accused of trying to solicit a student for sex.

Alfred "Trey" Arnold was an instructional aide at Tallahassee's Swift Creek Middle School. Now the 28 year old has been fired and is facing felony charges.

It all started when a 15 year old student told Swift Creek's school resource officer that she had a sexually explicit conversation with instructional aide Alfred "Trey" Arnold and realized that he was the source of a series of text messages on her phone from someone named "Trip."

"She thought that was another child of her age initially and when the suspect actually informed her that he was "Trip," it alarmed her a bit and she went and reported it," said Detective Rob Waller.

Detectives with LCSO's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit examined Arnold's i-phone and laptop computer.

According to arrest papers, one of the messages read: "Look you're older enough to make ur own decision so damn wat everyone else thinks! ... I hope we can keep this out secret no one is to ever find out"

Obviously they did.

"Reviewing those messages, it was obvious to the average reader that the intent on the part of the suspect was to solicit the child for sexual activity," Waller said.

Arnold was an instructional aide at Swift Creek for five years. Co-workers say he was well liked, ran the school's in-school detention program and helped to coach the football and girls basketball teams.

A Leon County Schools spokesman says Arnold was removed from the school and placed on administrative leave the day the accusations were made (May 6) and says Arnold has now been fired.

No one at the school was willing to comment on camera, but we were able to talk with some parents after classes wrapped up for the day.

"I am very shocked. I have not known coach Trey very long personally , but I have heard of him from my students, my children that he's always been very nice," said parent Lisa Monda.

"I don't think he should be allowed in the school system. I don't think anyone that does any of that should be able to work with any type of kids in any school system," said Will Carlquist who was picking up his nephew.

LCSO says right now it doesn't have any indication or any evidence that Arnold tried to lure any other students at the school.

Arnold spent the night in jail and made his first appearance before a judge this morning. He has already been released from jail on a 25-thousand dollar bond. He was ordered to have no contact with the 15 year old girl or any unsupervised contact with children.

Leon County Schools Safety and Security Chief John Hunkiar says Arnold has been with the school system for eight years, first at Buck Lake Elementary and then Swift Creek since 2005.

Hunkiar says the school system did a background check on Arnold when he was hired and it did not uncover anything on his record that would have prevented him from being hired.

[UPDATE] 5-18 Noon -

An instructional aide at Tallahassee's Swift Creek Middle School is not in the classroom today. Instead, he's in the Leon County Jail, accused of trying to solicit sex from a student.

See our interview with Sergeant James McQuaig with the Leon County Sheriff's Office for more.


Tallahassee, Florida - 5-19 -

On May 6, 2011, a Leon County middle school student reported that she had been receiving text messages from someone named “Trip” during school. According to the report, a man was attempting
to get the student to meet him for sexual intercourse. Detectives from the Leon County Sheriff’s Office met with the victim and conducted an interview. Detectives also performed an examination of the victim’s cell phone to corroborate her statement. The victim informed detectives that Alfred Arnold III, an instructional aid, had called her aside during school and identified himself as “Trip.” Arnold, 28, then continued the sexually motivated conversation with the student.

Detectives obtained search warrants for Arnold’s I-Phone and his laptop computer. During forensic examinations, they recovered evidence confirming Arnold’s involvement in this incident. Detectives also discovered that Arnold had offered the student movie tickets and a tour of the upstairs portion of a local theater while attempting to convince her to meet him away from the school’s campus. On May 17, 2011, Alfred Arnold III, 28, was arrested, interviewed and transported to the Leon County Jail.

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