Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man, 27, caught in Seminole Middle parking lot with naked photos of teen girls

SEMINOLE — A deputy checking out a man loitering Monday in the Seminole Middle School parking lot made a shocking discovery on the first day of school:

The 27-year-old St. Petersburg man had "numerous photos of naked minor females" on his cell phone and laptop, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

He also had a police scanner, the agency said, and had aimed his van so that it faced Seminole High School across the street.

Those revelations, according to the Sheriff's Office, culminated in the arrest of Matthew James White on charges that he engaged in sex acts with a 16-year-old girl — who was included in the naked photos.

Now investigators from the crimes against children unit are trying to answer these and other questions: Who are the other girls in the photos? Who took the photos? And what was he doing at the school?

"We haven't been able to confirm why specifically he was there," said sheriff's spokesman Cecilia Barreda. "But it became concerning to us that he was there."

The Sheriff's Office also is asking for the public's help to learn more about White and the girls in those photos.

"We're asking anyone that may have information about the other victims, who are themselves a victim, or knows anything that can help to contact us," Barreda said.

Detectives have not yet found any link between White and the middle and high schools. But staffers at Seminole Middle on Monday grew suspicious of the van parked at the campus at 8701 131st St. N. A school resource officer went to investigate at 2:30 p.m. The high school had already been dismissed at 1:50 p.m.

The agency said White told the deputy several stories: that he was there to pick up a cousin; that he was a bored paramedic; that he was just listening to his scanner. None was true, deputies said.

"He became very nervous," Barreda said. "Then he admitted that he had photographs of young girls on his cell phone."

He was arrested on charges of trespassing and loitering on school grounds. The crimes against children unit was called in. Investigators found the naked photos on his cell phone and found more on his laptop, according to the Sheriff's Office.

They identified one of the victims as a 16-year-old girl who knows White, deputies said.

Detectives interviewed that teen and then spoke to White on Tuesday at the jail. That's when allegations that he engaged in sex acts with the teenager were revealed, according to the Sheriff's Office. New charges were added Tuesday: one count of lewd and lascivious battery and two counts of sexual performance by a child.

White of 6048 Fifth Ave. S was being held Tuesday in the Pinellas jail in lieu of $40,000 bail. According to records, this is his first arrest in Florida.

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

>>Fast facts

Can you help?

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office asks anyone who has information about Matthew James White or may know of any potential victims to contact Detective Richard Heaton of the crimes against children unit at (727) 582-6200.

Man, 27, caught in Seminole Middle parking lot with naked photos of teen girls 08/23/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 10:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Irma slows curbside trash service in Pasco


    Hurricane Irma brought a hiccup to twice-weekly curbside trash service in Pasco County.

Pasco officials are asking for patience about the slow pace of residential trash service from private haulers. In some areas, trash hasn't been collected since Friday, Sept. 8, because of the volume of waste left after Hurricane Irma.
  2. Clemson reunion for Bucs' Adam Humphries, Vikings' Mackensie Alexander


    Bucs receiver Adam Humphries will have a familiar face lining up against him Sunday when he's in the slot and the Vikings have Mackensie Alexander guarding him as their nickel defensive back.

    Bucs wide receiver Adam Humphries (10) makes a reception before being tackled by Chicago Bears defensive back Marcus Cooper (31) Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Tampa ranks behind Miami and Orlando in Most Fun Cities in America list


    Is Tampa really among the "most fun cities in America?"

    Tampa's large number of festivals was among the factors that earned it a high ranking.
  4. Vinoy seeks to educate voters before November referendum


     The high profile match between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker has cast a long shadow over other candidates and issues on the St. Petersburg residents' Nov. 7 ballot.

    The Vinoy is seeking voter approval to build a one-story parking garage behind the resort
  5. Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter thanks his former dance instructor from Tampa in touching tribute (w/ video)


    TAMPA -- Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter appeared at a meeting of the Hillsborough County commission on Wednesday.

    Tell me why.

    During a Hillsborough County Commission meeting, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys appeared via video to thanks local dance instructor Sandy Karl, who retired after 45 years in the business.