A Lee’s Summit man has been charged with attempting to coerce a child under 15 to expose themselves in text messages, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced.
Garret Winchel, 20, was charged April 18 with a class D felony of sexual misconduct involving a child under 15 years of age. Bond on the charge was set at $50,000 and Winchel was able to post bond and was released from the Lee’s Summit detention center.
According to Lee’s Summit Police, the investigation began on April 15 when Lee’s Summit R-7 School District officials were given information that female students at the school were involved in the transmission of inappropriate text messages with a guest speaker who had done a presentation in a physical education class.
School district staff immediately notified the officer assigned to the school and an investigation was launched.
According to court records, Winchel told police he had flirted with a girl whom he knew was in middle school and had asked her to send him photos of her breasts.
During the investigation, it was learned that Winchel had been at the middle school to conduct a guest presentation on physical fitness.
According to school district officials, the defendant is a member of one of several groups that present fitness and healthy lifestyle information to students.
The district released a statement on the matter that read: “A staff member at the school who learned of possible inappropriate contacts made to our students immediately contacted school administration and the school resource officer. We appreciate the support of our parents and the cooperation of our students as they worked with the police officers during this investigation. We are also grateful to the Lee’s Summit Police Department for their quick actions and thorough investigation into this matter.
“The organization is one of several groups that present fitness and healthy lifestyle information to students. Throughout these presentations, the volunteer presenters are supervised by teachers and are not allowed to be alone with students at any time.”