HORSHAM, Pa. (CBS) — A youth sports volunteer in Montgomery County is accused of sexting over social media with a young boy he met while refereeing a basketball game.
Officials say 21-year-old Kevin Barron, of Horsham, reached out to a 12-year-old boy following a basketball game he refereed on Dec. 17 that the alleged victim was part of.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office says Barron, who is an elementary education major at Campbell University in North Carolina and a student teacher, started having conversations with the boy about basketball and his performance, but then they started turning sexual in nature over time.
Authorities say Barron asked the boy to send him a sexually explicit picture, which he did.
The boy’s mother went to Hatboro police on Jan. 29 to alert them that someone reached out to her son through Snapchat and Instagram and was having alleged sexually explicit conversations with him. The woman told police she learned of the alleged conversations the night before when her 12-year-old son was acting strangely while using his phone.
The woman told police she took her son’s phone and saw a message that the suspect requested a picture of the boy’s genitalia.
During their investigation, police learned that Barron has been a youth sports volunteer in the Hatboro and Horsham area.
“Someone looking to prey on children often uses the Internet and various cell phone applications to contact children and groom them for future encounters. It’s a way to privately contact the child. Like this mother, parents must be vigilant when it comes to their children’s cell phone use and periodically look at what’s happening with it, who the child is communicating with and what’s being said,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele. “Our children are trusting of adults, and while we don’t want to make children fearful, we do want to teach them to be wary of someone they don’t know who reaches out to them via these applications.”
Barron was also a seasonal employee at Simmons Elementary School in Horsham.
According to officials, Barron worked for the school since 2012 on a seasonal as-needed basis in the roles of daycare, assistant supervisor, recess aide and special education assistant. Since his arrest and arraignment on March 29, Barron has been fired.
“His employment within our district, which began in October 2012, has always been on a seasonal, as-needed basis in the roles of day care assistant supervisor, recess aide, and special education assistant. While his state-required clearances were clean at the start of his employment and renewed in accordance with district policies, the school district intends to remove him from employment based on his arrest,” Simmons Elementary School Principal Karen Kanter said in a letter to families.
CBS3 previously did a story on Barron in May 2016 while he was raising money for a baseball field in Horsham at the time.
“Obviously it’s concerning and we’re glad we were able to make an apprehension on this case,” said Chief James E. Gardner with the Hatboro Police Department.
Barron has been charged with two counts of corruption of a minor. He was arraigned on March 29 and released on his own recognizance, along with a condition of “no contact with minors except as required for classes at Campbell University and such contact be supervised by a staff member at all times.”
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 19.
Anyone with information regarding suspicious interactions with Barron is asked to contact the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.