A teenager is facing multiple felony charges after allegedly impersonating a school principal and demanding inappropriate pictures of students.

The New York State Police (NYSP) says that the Bureau of Criminal Investigation based out of the Clarence barracks along with the NYSP Computer Crimes Unit and the Department of Homeland Security worked in tandem after receiving a complaint made in the early part of June 2022.

Allegations made in the complaint from the Grand Island Central School District included statements that several students had allegedly been "threatened," according to the NYSP, "if explicit phots of themselves were not provided."  The person suspected of making the threats also was accused of impersonating the school principal.  The  suspect used social media to convey the threats to the students.

On June 22, 2022 the agencies investigating executed a search warrant at the home of the suspect.

Based on the results of that search and the investigation by authorities, a 15-year-old Erie County resident was arrested on June 22, 2022.  The teenager faces the following charges:

  • Criminal Impersonation in the First Degree (Class E felony)
  • Attempted Promoting an Obscene Sexual Performance by a Child (Class D felony)
  • Coercion in the Third Degree (Class A misdemeanor)

The 15-year-old was issued appearance tickets and is scheduled to answer the charges in family court at a later date.

The specific nature of the threats was not released by police but no physical injuries were reported.

Statistics as of this posting show that there are currently 2,946 students in the Grand Island Central School District, which has three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school.

Grand Island CSD Superintendent Brian Graham, Ed.D., said that those receiving the threats were female students at the middle and high schools.  Graham's statement, was made available online to the public.

Grand Island CSD Letter from Superintendent Brian Graham, Ed.D. June 2022 via https://www.grandislandschools.org/
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Grand Island CSD Letter from Superintendent Brian Graham, Ed.D. June 2022 via https://www.grandislandschools.org/
Grand Island CSD Letter from Superintendent Brian Graham, Ed.D. June 2022 via https://www.grandislandschools.org/
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Reiterating the GICSD's efforts to ensure the safety of its students, Graham said, "...a juvenile perpetrator from Grand Island has been identified.  This matter will now involve the family court system."

Anyone with additional information that may be helpful to investigators is asked to call the New York State Police.

[AUTHOR'S NOTE:   This post is for informational purposes and is based largely on information received from the New York State Police.  The reader is reminded that all suspects and arrested persons are innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.  At the time of this posting no additional information is available.]

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