OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. -- A Port St. Lucie eighth-grade teacher was among 40 men charged with attempting to seduce minors in an undercover operation held last week in Osceola County, officials there said.
Manatee Academy math teacher Alex Roy, 32, of Port St. Lucie was arrested as part of the sting. He's charged with traveling to have sex with a minor and using his computer to solicit a child.
"What is most concerning about this is not that there are so many people out there, but that some of these people work directly with children," said Twis Lizasuain, a spokeswoman with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office.
Surveillance video taken inside an Osceola County bait house shows a man walking into the house and deputies taking him to the ground. The location of the house is being kept secret.
In the sting, investigators posed online in chat rooms as children, parents or guardians. Sheriff's office documents show Roy agreed to travel to a Kissimmee Waffle House to meet with a woman who he believed to be a 30-year-old mother and her 13-year-old daughter, to engage in sexual activity.
Detectives said they were able to identify Roy at the restaurant, where he refused to turn over his computer for further investigation. Roy was later booked into the Osceola County Jail and held with no bond until first appearance.
The St. Lucie County School District has taken action amidst the charges.
"As per school board policy, this employee will be placed on administrative leave away from students until the completion of any potential adjudication," said district spokeswoman Janice Karst.
Karst said Roy will be paid while on administrative leave, which goes in accordance with the district-wide policy. His bond was ordered at $250,000.
Pro golfer Steve Thomas, who competed in the 2009 PGA Champions Tour, is also accused in the child sex sting.
Deputies said he answered an online ad, and the mother and daughter he allegedly came to meet turned out to be sheriff's investigators.
A Gainesville swim coach is also a suspect. Bryan Woodward coached the Gator Swim Club for children -- a private group not affiliated with the University of Florida.
Investigators say the 40 suspects ranged in age from 18 to 70, most of them coming from central Florida.