By Tamas Mondovics

Following a three month investigation, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s detectives arrested a former middle school teacher at Rogers Middle School in Riverview for providing a smart phone to a student and requesting that she take sexually explicit pictures and video of herself in sexual situations.

Brandon resident, Michael Geist, 31, was a teacher at Rogers Middle School during the second semester of the 2015-2016 school year.

Investigators said, that in April 2016, Geist gave the smart phone to the student as a gift and set up applications such as email and social media accounts on the phone, requesting her to have sexual communications with other students to include sending nude pictures. Geist requested the student take sexually explicit pictures and video of herself in sexual situations, detectives said.  

In May 2016, staff at Rogers Middle School were made aware of the allegation and notified the Sheriff’s Office, initiating an investigation, which has prompted Geist to resign from Rogers Middle School.

During the investigation detectives learned that Geist was still providing the phone service and seized the cell phone, for evidentiary purposes.

On Monday, September 12, 2016, Geist was arrested at his residence without incident on a warrant for Lewd or Lascivious Conduct Solicitation, and was transported and booked into the Hillsborough County Orient Road Jail. Geist reportedly posted $7,500 bond the following day.

While the investigation continues, the incident is another strong reminder for parents to keep a close eye on their children’s activities.

Thanks to technology, sexting has become all too common and, young people become victims. Sexual cyber crimes targeting children, are keeping detectives and investigators busy.

One example of such crimes, that has made headlines in recent times is Sextortion, which occurs when someone threatens to distribute private and sensitive material.

Local law enforcement officials continually urging parents to communicate with their children as well as supervise their computer or mobile device usage.

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