GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A former substitute teacher from metro Grand Rapids has been charged with four felonies after admitting to asking someone he believed to be an underaged girl to send him explicit photos, court documents show.
Brett Wardrop, 50, was arraigned Tuesday on charges of child sexually abusive activity, two counts of using a computer to commit a crime and a count of accosting a child for immoral purposes. Bond was set at $20,000.
In court documents filed Monday, a detective wrote that the Kent County Sheriff’s Department started investigating Wardrop after being contacted by the person who was pretending to be a 14-year-old girl online to try to identify predators. That person had met Wardrop on an app called Whisper, where their conversations became “inappropriate.”
On Monday, detectives arrested Wardrop outside his home north of Grand Rapids. When he was questioned, the court documents said, he told detectives he had asked the person who he thought was a teen girl in Indiana for explicit photos and that he had explicit conversations with her.
Wardrop said he messaged with the girl on his cellphone during class while working as a substitute teacher, the court documents said.
He said he had similar conversations with between 10 and 30 other teen girls and that he had gotten nude pictures from some of them.
News 8 has not confirmed for which schools Wardrop has worked as a substitute, though the sheriff’s office said it was “multiple local school districts.” In court Tuesday, Wardrop said he was no longer employed by substitute teacher provider Edustaff.
The sheriff’s office said it’s still investigating and working to identify victims. Anyone with information is asked to call investigators at 616.632.6125 or Silent Observer at 616.774.2345.