Scott Blake, former principal pleads guilty to enticing minor

WSEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Former Palm Beach County middle school principal Scott Blake on Friday admitted that he tried to arrange sex with a teenager, who turned out to be an undercover cop.

Blake, 47, pleaded guilty to charge of enticing a minor to engage in an illegal sexual activity. He appeared before Senior U.S. District Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp in federal court in West Palm Beach.

Blake is to be sentenced Feb 1. The career educator faces a maximum punishment of 10 years to life in prison.

Blake was serving as principal of Polo Park Middle School in Wellington when he was arrested July 26 by Boynton Beach police working with the South Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations.

The case emerged from an undercover investigation into social networking websites, officials said.

According to arrest records, Blake lived in Palm Beach Gardens and had been using the Internet to communicate with an undercover officer pretending to be a 15-year-old boy.

Police arrested Blake after he drove to an arranged meeting spot; he has remained in custody since then.

An investigation found Blake had carried out an illegal sexual encounter with another minor.

"This conduct removes the Defendant from the arguably safe realm of mere fantasizing to the real-world of illegal sexual activity," a federal judge wrote in September.

The Palm Beach County School Board on Aug. 22 cut Blake off the payroll, for the official reason of "job abandonment." He started teaching in the school district in 1989, became an assistant principal in 2000, an elementary principal in 2009, and Polo Park principal one year ago.

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