A middle school student is being hailed for helping to capture a 22-year-old Keizer man who was arrested Tuesday morning on 10 counts of encouraging child sexual abuse.
According to the Keizer Police Department, the incident started shortly before 8 a.m. Monday with a 13-year-old seventh grade female student walking to Claggett Creek Middle School observed a male she believed had followed her to the school, taking either photos or videos of her with his cell phone.
The student made note of the man’s vehicle, license plate and large sticker on the top of the windshield and reported those details to school staff. Staff, in turn, reported the incident to the KPD. Sgt. Trevor Wenning and School Resource Officer David Zavala being looking into the case.
About 24 hours later, Zavala patrolled the area and saw a male in a vehicle matching the description near the intersection of Alder Drive NE and Pleasant View Drive NE. Zavala followed the vehicle and saw it be parked in front of a residence on the 3700 block of Pleasant View Drive. The driver exited the car and went into the residence.
Once back-up arrived, Zavala asked the driver, 22-year-old Trevor Philip Highsmith of Keizer, to come outside. Highsmith gave consent for officers to search his cell phone and volunteered to go to the police station to be interviewed.
Investigators found dozens of images of child abuse on the phone. In addition, several images of female students were found on the phone, appearing to be walking to or from school. Investigators believe those pictures were taken within the past three weeks.
Highsmith was arrested and taken into custody on 10 counts of encouraging child sexual abuse in the second degree. He was taken to the Marion County Correctional Facility.
The KPD is continuing to investigate the incident and the images found on Highsmith’s phone. Anyone with information is asked to contact Zavala at 503-390-3713 ext. 3512.