Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Police Officer Accused of Chatting Inappropriately With Minor: BSO

Louis Walsh faces two counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor

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A Fort Lauderdale police officer was arrested Wednesday and accused of having sexual conversations online with who he believed was a minor, officials said.

Louis Walsh, 29, faces two counts of transmission of material harmful to a minor, the Broward Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Investigators in Minnesota said Walsh engaged in sexual conversations with an undercover detective who he believed was a female minor and sent a photo of himself exposing his private area.

The Minnesota Human Trafficking Investigators Taskforce notified BSO of the crimes on Tuesday and detectives verified Walsh's identity.

Walsh was arrested Wednesday afternoon at the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and is being booked into Broward County jail.

"This is a difficult situation for everyone involved. The Fort Lauderdale Police Department is shocked and disappointed to learn of the arrest of one of our officers," the department said in a statement. "After an investigation by the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), Louis Walsh was taken into custody on Wednesday. The details surrounding these allegations are very difficult to hear and do not reflect the character and professionalism expected of the men and women of this agency. Walsh has been placed on administrative leave without pay pending the outcome of a criminal investigation. This investigation will be handled by the BSO and we encourage anyone who may feel victimized by this individual to immediately contact them 954-888-5290"

Walsh also works special security details at Cardinal Gibbons High School and St. Anthony Catholic School. Detectives also said Walsh is an assistant wrestling coach at Cardinal Gibbons.

The Archdiocese of Miami said they were made aware of the arrest Wednesday afternoon.

"The Safe Environment Office and the Superintendent of Schools encourage parents to review with their children the 'Teaching Boundaries Safety' lessons taught in Catholic Schools, and be aware of any suspicious activity on laptops, cellphones, iPads, or desktops," the archdiocese said in a statement.

Anyone who has information regarding this case or believes they may know someone who is a victim is encouraged to contact Det. Erica Rockey at 954-888-5290.

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