#childpredator | Sex offender arrested for online activity

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Bay County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a local man for the solicitation of a child for sex acts online.

Gregory Whitman, a local registered sex offender, was arrested Wednesday after a search warrant was served at his residence by members of the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division, Crime Scene, and Partol Division, along with special agents from the FBI.

Whitman was identified as a suspect during the course of an investigation where he believe he was soliciting a 14-year-old child online. Whitman is currently a on the sexual offender registry from charges including kidnapping and sexual battery of a child.

During the search of Whitman’s home, devices used to communicate online were seized. Whitman was charged with one count of solicitation of a child for sexual acts via the internet or electronic device, as well as two counts of failing to register internet identifiers with the sexual offender registry. He was booked into the Bay County Jail and remains in custody with no bond.

“This arrest proves again that those that prey on children adapt and use the latest technology and law enforcement must keep up to stop them,” Sheriff Ford said in a news release. “We will continue to actively combat this terrible crime with our local and federal partners, but parents and guardians are the first line of defense against child predators.”

Sheriff Ford asks parents and guardians to monitor children’s activities on the internet closely, including what sites they visit and with whom they communicate.

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