Fort Lauderdale police officer accused of trying to talk to minor on sex chat leaves jail

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Fort Lauderdale police officer, who has also been identified as an assistant wrestling coach at Cardinal Gibbons High School, was released from jail Friday after he was arrested on accusations that he engaged in sexual chats online with an undercover detective who he believed was a young girl.

Louis Walsh, 29, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor. He was released Friday after posting bond and did not speak to reporters.

Investigators said he had sexual conversations with who he believed was a minor on at least two separate occasions and sent nude photos of himself.

As an officer, Walsh did traffic patrols at St. Anthony Catholic School and Cardinal Gibbons High, where he was also an assistant wrestling coach.

The Superintendent of Schools office for the Archdiocese of Miami, released a statement about the arrest, encouraging parents to check in with their kids and their devices often.

“The Safe Environment Office and the Superintendent of Schools encourage parents to review with their children the ‘Teaching Boundaries Safety’ lessons taught in Catholic Schools, and be aware of any suspicious activity on laptops, cell phones, IPads, or desktops,” the statement read in part.

Walsh has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

Investigators worry there may be other victims.

“This is a difficult situation for everyone involved,” a statement from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department read. “The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is shocked and disappointed to learn of the arrest of one of our officers. After an investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), Louis Walsh was taken into custody on Wednesday. The details surrounding these allegations are very difficult to hear and do not reflect the character and professionalism expected of the men and women of this agency. Walsh has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of a criminal investigation.”

Anyone with further information or believes they know someone victimized by the officer is asked to call Detective Erica Rockey at 954-888-5290.

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