CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - An officer assigned to work at a Coral Springs school has been arrested.
Steven Daniello, 63, was arrested and charged with trying to solicit sexual acts from a 15-year-old girl.
On Tuesday night, he bonded out of Broward County Jail and told 7News he’s made a mistake and had an unblemished record on his 30-year career until now.
“I made a mistake. 30 years, unblemished record, made a mistake. That’s all I can say,” said Daniello.
Daniello was an active member of the Coral Springs Police Department who had been working with kids as a school resource officer at Westchester Elementary School since 2017.
“Remember, we worry about you, we care about you, and we love you,” Daniello said in a video posted on Twitter by the school in April 2020, in the early days of the pandemic.
According to the detectives at the Broward Sheriff’s Office, Daniello, who was a longtime friend of the teen girl’s family, had been communicating with the victim online since September 2020, and the conversations “escalated to the point that Daniello offered to pay the victim for nude photos, and Daniello and the victim discussed the victim performing sexual acts on Daniello.”
“So the conversation with the juvenile started escalating. It went from asking about her day at school, started going into wanting photos of her, he offered to pay her for nude photos, and then the conversation escalated even more. There was supposed to be an upcoming trip with the families, where they spoke about breaking off and possibly engaging in sexual activity,” said BSO Lt. Andrea Tianga.
Parents of Westchester Elementary students, the school Daniello was hired to protect, reacted to the news of his arrest.
“My daughters have been coming here for years. He’s always respectful. He would always talk to us. Like, wow, no,” said Liddy Lopez, who has known Daniello for years.
“It’s not supposed to be something that you’re doing. I mean, you’re supposed to protect and serve, right? It shouldn’t happen. He should be charged and punished to the best of the ability of the state,” said Milly Campbell.
He appeared before a judge on Tuesday morning where his attorney told the judge that Daniello had been in law enforcement for over 30 years.
The attorney also told the judge Daniello was married with grown children.
When Daniello bonded out of jail and walked out, he initially told 7News he was not the Coral Springs Police officer in trouble with the law before he came clean, answering a question about what he would say to the victim’s family.
“The victim’s family. I made a mistake, I’m sorry. No more comments,” Daniello said.
The Coral Springs Police Department released a statement following his arrest that read in part: “After we were notified by the Broward Sherriff’s Office of his arrest, and upon reviewing the details of the allegations against Officer Daniello, termination proceedings were initiated.”
Daniello has been ordered to stay away from the victim, stay away from any place where children can gather, and to stay off the internet.
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