WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – A middle school principal pleaded guilty Friday to one count of enticing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity. The charge resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
According to court documents, Scott Blake, 47, a principal at Polo Park Middle School in Wellington, Fla., used an online social networking service to contact and meet an individual who he believed was a 15-year-old boy for the purpose of engaging in sexual activity. The individual he was conversing with was actually an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a minor. After several sexually suggestive conversations, Blake arranged to meet the undercover officer at a local mall. HSI special agents and task force officers arrested him there.
Blake faces between 10 years and up to life in prison. In addition, he must register as a sex offender. He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 3.
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
HSI is a founding member and the U.S. representative of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.