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11/11/2012 6:01:00 AM
Suspect was trolling for teens, Kingman Police say
KUSD employee allegedly groomed girl, 14, for sexual exploitation
Michael Gerad Keith
Michael Gerad Keith
Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

Kingman Police detectives arrested Michael Gerad Keith, an employee with KUSD's Information Technology Department, Thursday night and charged him with luring a minor for sexual exploitation, a felony.

"This is extremely serious," said KUSD Superintendent Roger Jacks.

Keith allegedly sent Facebook friend requests to several female White Cliffs Middle School students in the last week. Two of the requests were denied, and one of the eighth-grade girls who refused reported the request to school officials, who then reported it to police.

In addition to the requests sent out last week, investigators found that Keith and a 14-year-old girl at the school had been exchanging Facebook messages and cell phone texts for the last couple of months, said KPD Capt. Rusty Cooper.

Keith reportedly groomed the girl for sexual exploitation during their communication.

Conversations were light at first, Cooper said. But they progressed enough that specific sexual situations became topics of conversation.

"That's when it became criminal," Cooper said.

The contact Keith had with the girls who accepted his friend requests last week was not criminal, but it was definitely inappropriate, Cooper said.

"There's no doubt he was grooming these girls, too," Cooper said.

Investigators searched Keith's home and seized computers, cell phones and electronic devices. The investigation is ongoing and detectives are trying to determine whether or not any additional victims are involved.

Keith admitted his involvement in the offense, according to Cooper. He was booked into the Mohave County Jail.

The district hired Keith in May. He passed a nationwide background check and his fingerprints cleared, Jacks said.

"Nothing suggested anything like this was going on," Jacks said. "But you still can't help but question yourself."

Keith has not been fired, but he cannot set foot on district property. The district will conduct its own investigation in conjunction with KPD and decide whether or not to terminate Keith's employment.

For example, if Keith's charge is dropped but the district believes his actions were inappropriate, he could still be fired, Jacks said. Under no circumstances would Keith remain employed by the district if he were convicted of the charge.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Article comment by: suzanne cheever

Most KUSD workers are great workers there is only a few bad apples in the bunch. How unfortunate!

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Article comment by: You Have To Consider

I am in no way condoning this man's actions here, but the school district does have to consider it's own liablity if they fire this man and he turns out to be innocent. It certainly doesn't appear that he is, but I still do believe in innocent until proven guilty. I have a daughter close to this age, and I'm afraid if I found out it was true, I may be in need a fair trial myself.

Posted: Monday, November 12, 2012
Article comment by: La Smith

How can I feel safe as a parent dropping my kid off if this creep is still working for the district?! Wow KUSD way to be classy.

Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Article comment by: Concerned Parent

Bus drivers dropping kid off during a micro burst, an IT guy soliciting girls, rating of "D" for the schools, moving principles in the middle of the year...and on and on it goes. It sounds like a lack of leadership from the top. That's why I didn't vote for any incumbents running for the school board. I mean hey, they hired the current superintend, despite the fact that he was an unsuccessful principle in Vegas. Three year of "did not meet" and "needs improvement" in Vegas, and K.U.S.D. say's "that's our man!" Google "Desert Pines High school" in Las Vegas and check out the adequately yearly progress from 2003 to 2006. This is our school board at work.

Posted: Sunday, November 11, 2012
Article comment by: R G

Seriously how can he not be fired already. If the wheels of justice turn so slow, let them be a steamroller and squish him.

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