By Ted Scouten

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – A Coral Springs school resource officer has been charged with soliciting a minor.

Steven Daniello, 63, has worked in law enforcement for more than 30 years. His most recent assignment was at Westchester Elementary School.

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“It’s very unsettling,” said parent Jaqueline Cerby, who has a child at Westchester Elementary. “You’re supposed to trust your officers here, taking care of your children in the school.”

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, detectives began their investigation on January 16th after receiving information that Daniello was soliciting an underage girl online.

Sheriff’s investigators said Daniello was a longtime friend of the victim’s family and began conversing with the victim online in September 2020.

At the time, the alleged victim was 15-years-old.

“What went from asking about her day at school, started going into wanting photos of her, he offered to pay her for nude photos,” said BSO Lt. Andrea Tianga.

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She explained that’s not where it ended.

“The conversation escalated even more, there was supposed to be a upcoming trip with the families where they spoke about breaking off and possibility engaging in sexual activity,” Lt. Tianga said.

It was the teen’s parents who eventually realized this was unfolding. “These parents went through their daughter’s cell phone and found these suspicious conversations and came straight to us,” she said.

“If you’re children think that you’re nosey and intrusive, you’re probably doing a fantastic job.”

As part of the investigation, an undercover detective began conversing with Daniello, who believed he was still communicating with the teen. Sheriff’s investigators said the conversations confirmed the information provided by the teen.

Daniello, who is charged with two second-degree felony counts of soliciting a minor to engage in sexual conduct, made his first court appearance Tuesday.

After reading the charges, the judge set bail at $30,000 for each count.

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When released, Daniello is to have no contact with the teen or the teen’s family. He cannot go within 1,000 feet of the teen’s home address or school. He also must stay 1,000 feet away from children or where there are children gathered.

Ted Scouten