A former Lancaster Police Department school resource officer was arrested Wednesday, May 25, on two counts of criminal solicitation of a minor.
Agents from the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) arrested Justin’e Jay Hatfield, 34, after they were asked by the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office to investigate.
Hatfield, a former school resource officer at Clinton Elementary School, was most recently employed as the city of Lancaster’s events and promotion manager.
His last day as a police officer with the city of Lancaster was April 4, based on his personal Facebook post.
Interim Police Chief Brian Small said Hatfield was still classified as a reserve officer.
Hatfield started his new position as events and promotion manager April 5. City Administrator Flip Hutfles said Hatfield was no longer employed with the city as of Thursday, May 26.
According to a SLED release, Hatfield committed the offense by knowingly communicating with the victim during a live Instagram video chat session May 13. During the live video chat, Hatfield allegedly performed a sexual activity in the viewing presence of the victim, according to SLED.
SLED said Hatfield was familiar with the victim and knew the victim was under the age of 18. The video chat session was screen recorded and a copy was provided to SLED agents.
Law enforcement officers who were familiar with Hatfield identified him as the person on the video recording.
SLED said the victim provided corroborating information to law enforcement during a forensic interview. The victim viewed Hatfield’s sexual activity via the live video chat while in a residence in Lancaster, according to SLED.
Officials with the Lancaster County School District released a statement saying they are monitoring the situation.
“School Resource Officers are not employed by the school district nor supervised by the district,” said Bryan Vaughn, school district communications director. “They are employees of the law enforcement agency they represent.
“We will continue to monitor this situation and cooperate with any law enforcement investigation as requested. We will defer to the investigating law agency for any specific information released,” Vaughn said. “Our main concern stays focused on any victim of a crime and their mental and physical well-being.”
SLED said this is an ongoing investigation. The 6th Circuit Solicitor’s Office will prosecute the case.
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