A 55-year-old middle school principal turned to the social media platform, Snapchat, to communicate with a female student, arranging a meet-up. But, he is now regretting his decision because instead of the girl, he was met by “uninvited guests” at the location.
Principal Daniel E. initiated contact by presenting himself as a younger individual on Snapchat. He then used “his position as the school principal and school district database information to convince the 16-year-old girl who he really was,” authorities said. According to reports, the exchanges between Daniel and the minor had been taking place for at least a week. The local police department confirmed that Daniel had made multiple attempts to meet with her, including going to her home.
The teenage girl refused meeting Daniel until she finally decided to report him to the teachers. That’s the moment when the district’s superintendent reported the incident to the local authorities and they told the girl to accept Daniel’s invitation. The police said the middle school principal set up a meeting at a remote location with the aim to se*ually assault the girl. Two days later, Daniel arrived at the location with a Grimace shake from McDonald’s, chicken nuggets, and a box of condoms. But instead of the girl, Daniel met with police officers and deputies with the Sheriff’s Office. Fortunately, the predator was arrested and taken into custody. He was held in jail without bond.
The victim, who currently attends the local high school, had been a student at the middle school where Daniel serves as principal during his tenure, according to sheriff. Sheriff’s Office confirmed in a statement that at no point was the minor victim in danger or with Daniel in the time between authorities learning about the allegations and making an arrest. Daniel, who served the school district for nearly a quarter-century, has been principal at Johnston City Middle School for the past seven years. The institution is home to just over 500 students in grades six through eight.
Currently, Daniel is on administrative leave and prohibited from entering school premises while an investigation into serious allegations continues. Addressing questions about whether this incident was isolated or part of a pattern, Sheriff Akshar stated: “I mean, sadly, by all accounts, this particular incident …based on the investigation, the actions of Mr. Daniel come as a surprise.” According to the Sheriff’s Office, the situation could have escalated further if the school had not been made aware of Daniel’s alleged conduct. Daniel’s personal life has also come under scrutiny, as public records obtained by Roanoke Daily Magazine reveal that he is married with two adult sons, ages 21 and 24, from a previous relationship.
Legal proceedings are moving forward, with Daniel facing charges of luring a child, a class E felony, and attempted ra-e in the 3rd degree, a class A misdemeanor. Details regarding his legal representation are not yet available, and he has not entered a plea. Should Daniel be convicted, he stands to face a maximum of four years in prison for the felony charge of luring a child, and up to 364 days for the attempted ra-e charge.