A now-terminated Delaware County charter-school aide is accused of seeking nude photos last month from a 14-year-old girl in his care who recorded part of the conversation, police said.
Ronald A. Byrd, 56, an in-school suspension aide at Chester Community Charter School, was charged Wednesday with sexual exploitation of children, corruption of minors and related offenses. He was remanded to Delaware County prison after failing to post 10 percent of $100,000, court records said.
Bruce Crawley, a school spokesman, said Byrd was suspended after a Chester Township police officer was called to the school and conducted an initial investigation. Byrd was terminated after a school probe, Crawley said.
“The good news – if there is good news in a situation like this – is that the policy we have in place was followed,” Crawley said.
He said the student immediately contacted teachers, who informed the school principal, who called police.
According to the criminal complaint, the girl, who is not being identified by police, was assigned to the in-school suspension room on Sept. 29 with Byrd and a male student who heard Byrd initiate a conversation about whether the girl had a boyfriend. The second student was then given a pass to leave, the complaint said.
The girl said Byrd, who is married, told her that his girlfriend Tara sends him nude photos of her by phone and asked her if she had any of her, the complaint said. The girl said she asked Byrd what she would get in return, and he replied, “Anything you want,” the complaint said.
Bryd asked the girl to move up to the front classroom desk; she did that after pushing the record button on her phone and asking Byrd again what she would receive if she sent him “those naked pictures,” the complaint said. He repeated his earlier answer, and the girl said she needed to go to the bathroom; Byrd permitted her to leave and she immediately reported the incident to two faculty members, the complaint said.
Crawley said the school is in the process of notifying all parents about the incident through phone and email.
“We don’t want parents learning about this on the news,” he said. “We want parents to know that their children are safe and that the policy we have in place was followed perfectly.”
Contact staff writer Kathleen Brady Shea at 610-696-3815, email@example.com, or @brandywinebits on Twitter. Read her blog, “Chester County Inbox,” at www.philly.com/chescoinbox.