A Dayton Ohio man is in Douglas County jail, accused of coming to Glenwood to find a teen he met online.
Pope County Sheriff Tim Riley said last Friday they received a report of an unknown man at the Minnewaska Area Middle School. Thanks to the fast actions of the Minnewaska Area School staff, the Pope County Sheriff’s Office and the Glenwood Police Department, law enforcement was able to quickly apprehend this individual at a local hotel in Pope County, Riley stated.
According to a letter from Minnewaska Area Schools Superintendent Chip Rankin, the school was informed by a middle school parent roughly two weeks ago about an inappropriate conversation via text, zoom and video games involving an adult male from Ohio and a student at MAS. The information was shared with Pope County Law Enforcement, and steps were taken to ensure the safety of the student and siblings.
Then, Friday, April 29, an adult male dropped a phone at the middle school office with a note stating he had “found” a student’s phone. The office immediately ensured the student in question was safe in the classroom and contacted law enforcement.
A law enforcement investigation revealed 29-year-old Christian James Mackson of Dayton, Ohio had traveled to Glenwood on April 29 for the sole purpose of finding a student he had met online. Mackson appeared in Pope County District Court Monday, May 2 to face a felony charge of Electronic Communication Relating or Describing Sexual Conduct with a Child. Mackson is currently being held on bail, it was stated in a news release from the Pope County Sheriff’s Office.
Riley said the Sheriff’s Office encourages parents to engage with their children and keep track of what they are doing online. He added that his department takes all tips about these type of incidents seriously and added that anyone with information about such incidents should contact the Pope County Sheriff’s Office or their local police department.
Working with the Pope County Sheriff’s Department on this case were Glenwood Police, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and Minneapolis Airport Police, according to Riley.