PLYMOUTH – An Easton man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly trying to take a 15-year-old girl out of school to engage in sex.
Borough police say David M. Leeper, 26, of 301 Tuscany Drive, drove two hours from his home and posed as the teen’s father in an attempt to get the Wyoming Valley West High School student out of class on Dec. 18.
The teen and Leeper met through an online dating site, police said.
Leeper was arraigned Wednesday on charges of attempted statutory sexual assault, contact with a minor, obscene and other sexual materials, defiant trespassing on school grounds and corruption of minors.
He was jailed at Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $300,000 straight bail.
According to the criminal complaint:
On Dec. 18, police received a call from Assistant Principal Amy Pettit who reported a man, later identified as Leeper, impersonating the student’s father and requesting she be excused from school because her great aunt had passed away.
The school has no-trespassing signs posted around the campus.
Leeper filled out paperwork and signed as the girl’s father. When a front desk security officer asked for Leeper’s identification and a contact number, Leeper left the school.
Footage obtained from the school’s security surveillance system showed Leeper entering the school and then leaving in his vehicle.
On Dec. 19, the girl and her mother came to the police station with additional information about a Web site the teen and Leeper met on and exchanged phone numbers through e-mail about three days earlier.
During the three days leading up to the incident at the school, Leeper had conversations with the girl via text messages. The girl’s cell phone service, Verizon Wireless, faxed officers a list of numbers and text messages the girl received on Dec. 18.
The girl identified Leeper’s cell phone number. Police called Leeper and requested he come to the police station for questioning.
Leeper admitted to meeting the girl online and making sexual references in text messages. Leeper said he knew the girl’s age and further stated, “Being friends with a 15-year-old is not illegal.”
On Wednesday, Leeper was arrested after he went to the police station to be interviewed.
Leeper said his intent was to sign the girl out of school for a date, according to the criminal complaint, and that he intended to have sex with the girl.
A preliminary hearing has been tentatively scheduled for April 2 in Central Court.