A Secret Service officer has been charged with sending nude photos and obscene texts to an Internet user he thought was a 14-year-old girl, often while on duty at the White House, authorities said.
Lee Robert Moore, 37, sent naked images of himself and texts soliciting sex to a Delaware State Police Officer posing as a young teen, state and federal authorities said in a criminal complaint unsealed Thursday, according to several media reports.
Moore, who was a uniformed officer but not an agent, is charged with two counts of sexual solicitation of a child under 18 and one count of providing obscene material to a minor. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday, the Associated Press reported.
Moore turned himself in earlier this week, after he was placed on leave and told by the Secret Service to report to the Maryland State Police Barracks, the wire service said.
It is not clear whether Moore has retained an attorney.
According to federal and state authorities, Moore used the social media app “Meet24” to meet teenage girls. In August, a Delaware State Police Detective posing as a 14-year-old girl was contacted by Moore, the criminal complaint says.
The conversations moved to the “Kik” app, and became more sexual in nature, the complaint says. Moore sent a photograph of his erect penis, and suggested meeting in Delaware for sex, authorities said.
On August 31, Moore chatted again with the undercover agent and asked about sexual experiences.
In one text included in the complaint, Moore is alleged to have written:
"I would take immense pleasure in pulling those shorts off your hips and down your cute little legs. Be exciting to try I mean id be nervous but still be fun. Just wouldn't want to bore u."
Authorities ultimately identified Moore by comparing photos he sent to the Kik site with photos on his Facebook page, which appears to have been taken down.
The charges against him carry a sentence of up to 10 years, authorities said.
“The Secret Service takes allegations of potential criminal activity extremely seriously,” the agency said Thursday in a statement.
Moore’s job at the White House was not explained.
Though in one text to the person he thought was 14, Moore complained “work sucks today” because he was at a post checking IDs.
The incident is the latest in a string of embarrassments for the agency entrusted with the safety of the president and his family.
The bad publicity began in 2012, when more than a dozen Secret Service agents were implicated in the hiring of prostitutes while on a presidential trip to South America.
Since then, management of the agency has been reorganized.