Fort Lauderdale police officer used role as cop to entice minor into online sex chats, report reveals

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Disturbing details have been revealed from the investigator who was on the other side of the conversation with a Fort Lauderdale police officer who is accused of sex chatting online and sending explicit photographs with someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl.

Louis James Walsh, 29, was released from jail Friday after posting bond. He was arrested at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department Wednesday.

According to an arrest warrant, a Minnesota detective, part of a human trafficking investigation task force, observed a post on Monday, March 22, in a mobile application’s publicly open group: “Ladies Who Want Police Officers,” then it read: ‘Police Officer here, where are you ladies?”

The arrest warrant stated that the undercover detective, posing as the girl, replied to the post with a smiley face emoji. The suspect, later identified as Walsh, sent a private message to her. The warrant said that Walsh told the girl to sign on to another mobile application, where photos and/or video and messages would disappear after a set time period.

Using the application, Walsh allegedly sent a photograph of himself where a filter was used making it difficult to identify the person in the photo, but where a “blue colored uniform shirt” could be seen. The “girl” said she could not send a photograph back because she was home with her mother, but the undercover detective said that the suspect persistently requested that the girl, who he did know was 15, go into a bathroom to take photographs of herself.

At one point, he allegedly sent a chat that read, “You’re 15 I know my limits lol.”

The suspect sent a photo then that showed a completely nude man and, as the conversation progressed, another photograph of a nude man was transmitted.

The next day, the conversation began again and the suspect sent a photo of a man exposing himself through a pair of blue uniform pants. The Minnesota investigator said that the bottom portion of a police body camera was visible.

The investigation was able to pinpoint the location where Walsh and, as well as the uniform, Fort Lauderdale Internal Investigations Division was contacted.

Walsh has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of the criminal investigation. He faces two counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor.

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

Both the Archdiocese of Miami and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department released statements.

Investigators are concerned that Walsh made had been having conversations and sending photos to other minors.

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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