A local school board in Ohio announced on Sunday that board president John Gray resigned after a video posted online shows Gray being handcuffed by sheriff's deputies in Indiana.
In a statement posted on its website, the district said, "A video posted Saturday evening on YouTube shows John Gray, Goshen Local Schools board president, being handcuffed by law enforcement in Indiana. The content of the video is deeply disturbing to our entire school district and Goshen Local School community."
The video, titled "60 Year old President of Goshen OH school board, meeting an 11 y/o," was uploaded to YouTube and Facebook Saturday night by the groups "PCI: Predator Catchers Indianapolis" and "PCM: Predator Catchers Muncie." According to their websites, these are groups of volunteers that work to expose predators.
In the video, Gray said he traveled around two hours from Cincinnati to meet with an 11-year-old girl he had been messaging.
“I told her, ‘You’re a minor. We’re not doing any sexual relations,'” Gray said in the video.
“We didn’t say you were here for sexual things. You said that. Why did you say that?” asked one of the volunteers.
For more than 30 minutes, Gray tried to explain himself.
“I said you have beautiful lips,” he said. “She said something about trying clothes on, modeling, like a fashion show.”
"And you asked her to go down to her bra and panties,” one volunteer said.
Gray replied, “I did say that.”
He agreed that he spoke to the child about washing her in a bubble bath, as well as giving her a massage.
Gray said repeatedly, “She’s starving for something.”
At one point, Gray said he just wanted to cuddle with the child on a couch and make out.
According to the Randolph County Sheriff's Office in Indiana, they were called to a Dollar General in Farmland, Indiana around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday and had a conversation with Gray. He was not arrested and is not facing any criminal charges at this time, but the sheriff's office said they are still investigating. Gray resigned from the school board the next day.
Parents waiting for their children after school said they were astonished to hear the news.
“That about made me sick,“ said Melony Stegman. “That about made me sick. It’s too much.”
The district's website said Gray has lived in Goshen for 33 years with his wife and children. In the video, he said he’s a grandfather now and has served as board president since 2005.
“The content of the video is deeply disturbing to our entire school district and Goshen Local School community,” Superintendent Darrell Edwards said in a statement. “To be clear, Saturday’s incident occurred outside of the Goshen Local School district. Our district leaders will be consulting with legal counsel and should more information become available, we will communicate it to our families immediately.”
This story was originally published by Christian LeDuc and Courtney Francisco from WCPO in Cincinnati, Ohio.