BRUNSWICK, GA. | A Ware County teacher has been indicted on charges of sex trafficking a minor a week after his arrest on a misdemeanor charge of solicitation of a 16-year-old boy for a sex act, the U.S. attorney said.

 

The indictment charges Tracy Wayne Crosby, 42, of Waycross with sex trafficking of a minor, coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity and possession of child pornography, according to a statement issued by U.S. Attorney Bobby L. Christine.

The statement also says Crosby used a cellphone and the internet to persuade and coerce a minor to “engage in prostitution and sexual activity” and that Crosby possessed one or more images of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The indictment says that from August to Nov. 29, Crosby “recruited, enticed, harbored, transported … and solicited a minor to engage in commercial sex acts.”

If convicted he faces from 10 years to life in prison.

The Camden County Sheriff’s Office indicted Crosby Nov. 29 on a single misdemeanor charge of solicitation of a sex act. He has since been charged with felony reckless conduct by a person infected with HIV, Camden County jail records show.

The boy’s mother told the Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 28 that her son had left home that night without providing an explanation. She found him later at Woodbine’s waterfront park engaged in a sex act with a man, Sheriff Jim Proctor said. Sheriff’s Office detectives investigated and Crosby was arrested the next day.

The Ware County School Board suspended Crosby last week from his job teaching criminal justice classes at Ware County High School. Schools Superintendent Jim LeBrun said no further action would be taken on Crosby’s status until the board and law enforcement complete their investigations. He also said the Professional Standards Commission, the agency that handles teacher certification in Georgia, would be involved.

Pierce County Sheriff Ramsey Bennett fired Crosby from his part-time position working four weekend shifts each month as an investigator.

Christine stressed that the indictment is only an accusation and not evidence of guilt and that Crosby is entitled to a fair trial.

He said, however, “Those who solicit children online and pay to have sex with them are a horrible, driving force behind the dark underground of child sex trafficking. By holding these people accountable for their actions, we can help end this scourge.”

The indictment resulted from an ongoing investigation by the Homeland Security Investigations division of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Christine said.

Terry Dickson: (912) 264-0405