On February 5, 2020, Gulfport Police Department School Resource Officers assigned to Boca Ciega High School were notified of an ongoing incident involving a school employee and a student.
Upon further investigation, officers determined that the employee, 24 year-old Malcolm McGruder of Gulfport, who works as a plant operator, was in violation of Florida Statute 847.0135, certain uses of computer services or devices prohibited, where he communicated via text messages with a 16 year old student of Boca Ciega High School, with the apparent intent to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice the student to engage in unlawful sexual conduct.
The student, who will only be described as a 16 year old female, met the suspect on the school campus in the later part of 2019. Their relationship with one another escalated over the following months to the point of what officers say is an obvious violation of the above statute.
The suspect had knowledge of the student’s age. Gulfport police officer’s obtained sufficient evidence to develop probable cause to make an arrest and apply the appropriate charges.
There is no indication at this point that there are other students involved.