After exchanging inappropriate social media messages with an undercover police officer, a private contractor who worked at elementary schools in Reading allegedly tried to meet with what he thought was an underage girl.
Jeremy Kreiser, 34, contacted an undercover police social media account on Monday and began an “inappropriate conversation” with a police officer posing as a 13-year-old, the Reading Police Department said in a news release. During that conversation, Kreiser identified himself as a worker with the Reading School District, according to the RPD.
On Tuesday, Kreiser tried to get what he thought was the 13-year-old girl to meet him outside an elementary school where he worked, police said. When Kreiser “took physical steps towards meeting the juvenile,” officers arrested him, the RPD said in its release.
Neither police nor the school district specified in which school the incident took place.
Get Philly local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Philadelphia newsletters.
“The safety and security of our students is our top priority. We thank the Reading Police Department for their proactive investigation to keep our children safe from online predators,” the district said in a statement posted to its website.
It added that police informed district officials that students “were largely unaware of the incident, and there was no risk of harm to any students or staff.”
Kreiser was a private construction subcontractor and not a district employee, the RSD said. Per district policy, contractors must submit clearances for all employees and subcontractors before beginning work on a project, according to the RSD’s statement.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
There was nothing included in Kreiser’s clearance that precluded him from working on an RSD project, the district said.
Kreiser is being charged with attempted indecent assault and attempted unlawful contact of a minor, according to the police department’s press release.
Online court records show he was released from jail Tuesday after posting $15,000 bail. His next hearing is scheduled for Jan. 21. The court records did not list an attorney who could comment on Kreiser’s behalf.