Troy police charged a Mount Vernon High School math teacher on Feb. 3 with attempting to solicit sex from local eighth-grader, whom police say he met over social media.
Troy Police Chief Brad Parsons said his department charged Kevin W. Battas, 25, of Mount Vernon with two felonies — indecent solicitation of a child and grooming.
Parsons said his department had been investigating the case for the last month. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Battas met the child using Whisper, an anonymous social media app, according to police.
Police said Battas discussed an act of sexual conduct with the minor and also offered to perform sexual acts upon the minor. The solicitation of the minor was done using a smart phone or similar device, police said, so Battas was also charged with grooming.
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“Smart phones and social media apps have created new avenues for predators to contact and solicit children,” Parsons said. “As parents, we need to be aware of what our children are doing on their phones and who they are communicating with. We’re lucky that in this case we were able to intervene before any of the acts could be carried out.”
Indecent solicitation of a child is a Class 3 felony and carries a sentence of imprisonment of not less than two years and not more than five years. Grooming is a Class 4 felony and carries a sentence of imprisonment of not less than one year and not more than three years.
Battas is currently being held at the Madison County Jail on a $150,000 bond.