OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WKRG) — Authorities say the Northwest Florida deputy charged with soliciting a child had been ‘grooming’ his alleged victim to prey on her, and they fear it may not have been the first time.
Cansas Sadler Jr. is accused of trying to lure a girl in Polk County, Florida into having sex with him.
On Thursday, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd held a news conference to talk about the case. He said Sadler groomed the victim, teaching her sexual terms that no 9-year-old should ever need to know, eventually escalating to the point where the two exchanged photos.
The sheriff said the girl’s mother discovered the interactions when Sadler called the girl’s phone but the mother answered instead.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office fired Sadler after the allegations surfaced. He had been with the sheriff’s office for less than a year and was still in his probationary period. Before that, he served in the U.S. Army.
“Upon conviction, we’re going to send this guy to prison,” Sheriff Judd said. “So he can say on his resume I was in the Army for 21 years, I was a Ranger, I fought wars, I was a deputy sheriff, I was a child predator, and now I’m a prison inmate.”
Investigators say Sadler first met the girl while playing The Wolf, an online role-playing game. They say he pretended to be an 11-year-old girl named Jade.
During the news conference, Sheriff Judd praised the work of cyber investigators in both Polk County and Okaloosa County.
“We were all over him like a cheap J.C. Penney suit, and we’re not getting off now,” the sheriff said. “He’s in trouble, and I want him in more trouble.”
Sheriff Judd called Sadler a child predator and said it likely wasn’t the first time he’s done something like this.
“You don’t wake up at 41-years-old and say ‘Hmm, let me go groom a 9-year-old child,'” the sheriff said.
The sheriff asked people in the community to come forward if they believe Sadler has interacted with their children.