A volunteer Oxford firefighter was arrested Wednesday for asking to have sex with what he thought were 12 and 13-year-old girls who turned out to be an undercover officer, according to the Monroe Police Department.
Lewis McClain, 24, of Walton County was charged with seven counts of sexual exploitation of a child for soliciting sex and sending nude and explicit photographs, according to Sgt. John Fitzmeyer, a detective with the Monroe Police Department.
McClain, the training officer at the Oxford fire department, was arrested by MPD officers as he was giving a training class at the fire station and put up no resistance, Fitzmeyer said.
Oxford Fire Chief Jason Stribling said McClain is on suspension until the outcome of his trial and that the department retrieved its equipment from him. Regulations prevent McClain from being fired immediately, said Stribling, but his connection with the department was terminated for all intents and purposes.
McClain has been barred from the department and from city property and the rest of the fire fighters have been instructed not to contact him, said Stribling.
"I've known him since he was 15," said Stribling. "It caught all of us by surprise. We're all quite disgusted."
McClain submitted to a background checks when he started with the department about a year and a half ago, according to Stribling. He is not believed to have a criminal record, said Fitzmeyer, and there were no previous warrants on McClain in Walton County, according to the Walton County Magistrate Court office.
Monroe police received a call from the New Waterford Police Department in Ohio on May 6 about McClain, who had a business, Trauma Care Emergency Services Inc., listed in the city of Monroe.
According to Fitzmeyer, McClain had entered an online chatroom called "open-minded parent" where he chatted with what he thought was the father of a 12-year-old girl. The father and the girl were actually one undercover NWPD officer. He requested to have sex with the girl and sent three photographs of an unidentified nude white female in sexually suggestive positions.
He also communicated with the 12-year-old girl on the phone, played by the officer using a voice modulator.
MPD took out warrants on McClain for four counts of sexual exploitation of a child on Wednesday and simultaneously conducted a search warrant at his home on Ga. Highway 138, where he lived with his parents. Officers confiscated several desktop and laptop computers and disks, said Fitzmeyer.
On Friday, police in Fairborn, Ohio also contacted MPD about a separate but similar undercover incident where McClain chatted with what he thought was the father of a 13-year-old girl, which brought three more counts of sexual exploitation of a minor against McClain.
"The investigation does continue and it is believed that more charges will be forthcoming," said Fitzmeyer.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigations is examining the computers and disc, which is likely to turn up more evidence and information, said Fitzmeyer.