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TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY IN SEX CASE

Charged with attempting to entice two young girls in Belize to have sex with him, a teacher at Centennial Middle School in Dade City has agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a lighter sentence.

David Wendel Thompson, 49, of Seffner was arrested and charged in March with online enticement of minors, a federal offense. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, though a judge could sentence him to a maximum of life in prison. The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 29.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, Thompson had sexually explicit conversations with a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old in Februaryvia his own Facebook account, as well as a fake account he set up under the name "Iris Levy," to resemble a teenage girl in Belize.

Using the dummy account, Thompson told one of the girls, "if u give urself to dis man...he will neva forget dat and b there for as long as u want him,, Save it for him cause d man take care of u." Agents also found pictures of the girls in his account.

Under the watch of law enforcement, Thompson flew from Tampa International Airport to Belize City in March. During a layover in Miami, officials searched his checked bag and found condoms, a drug for erectile dysfunction, two new computer tablets and fliers for a hotel in Belize. He was allowed to fly to Belize, where he was refused entry. Authorities arrested him when he returned to Miami.

The complaint said Thompson has traveled to Belize nine times since June 2011.

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