Genesee County Jail deputy accused of sending sexual explicit messages, photos on duty
The 24-year-old was arrested by the GHOST team and fired over the weekend
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A corrections deputy with the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is facing four charges for allegedly communicating with an undercover officer posing as an underage teen hundreds of times -- some while on duty.
Sheriff Chris Swanson said 24-year-old Benjamin Reinhart was arrested last weekend after a two-day sweep conducted by the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team, commonly known as GHOST.
Police served a search warrant at Reinhart’s residence in Gaines Township and he was fired from his job at the Genesee County Jail. He worked at the jail beginning in July 2019.
Swanson said Reinhart sent 446 messages to an undercover GHOST officer, many of which were sexually explicit, and attempted to schedule a sexual encounter with the officer posing as a 15-year-old. Reinhart allegedly sent 118 of those messages and six sexually explicit photos while on duty at the jail.
Swanson said Reinhart also “almost demanded” that the person he believed was a teenager send sexually explicit photos back to him. However, Reinhart did not show up for a scheduled rendezvous to seek a sexual encounter with who he believed was a 15-year-old.
Swanson said Reinhart’s alleged actions do not represent the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office and damage the agency’s image in the community. He accepted responsibility for what Reinhart did while on duty at the jail.
“The public put a great faith and trust on public officials to do the right thing when no one’s looking. That was breached this weekend,” Swanson said.
Reinhart was arraigned on the following charges in Genesee County District Court:
- Child sexually abusive activity.
- Using a computer to communicate with another person to commit a crime.
- Accosting a child for immoral purposes.
- Misconduct in office.
A judge set Reinhart’s bond at $50,000. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charges.
The GHOST team also arrested a 37-year-old laborer who allegedly arranged a sexual encounter with an undercover officer posing as a 15-year-old. Swanson said the suspect showed up to the meeting with a bottle of vodka.
A Grand Blanc man also is facing charges after the weekend GHOST sweep.
Both of those suspects are facing two felony sex charges, which carry a possible sentence of up to 20 years in prison, and another felony with a maximum of four years in prison.
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