Former Western teacher arrested in sex sting

File photo. File photo.

A former Western Albemarle High School teacher is being held in a Staunton jail after a sting operation caught him attempting to meet a person he thought was a 13-year-old boy he’d encountered on the Internet, according to Augusta County Sheriff’s Office.

John Daniel Patterson.

John Daniel Patterson, 66, was arrested April 15 after he showed up at an agreed-upon location for a planned sexual encounter, police said in a press release issued last week. But the boy he thought he’d been talking to online was actually Augusta Sherriff’s Deputy Donald Moran. Patterson was taken into custody without incident, officials said, and was charged with two solicitation-related crimes: the use of a communications system to facilitate offenses involving children, and attempting to propose a sexual act to a 13-year-old. He’s being held in the Middle River Jail.

Patterson, who lives in Waynesboro, was a long-time social studies teacher at Western Albemarle High School before retiring in 2000, and was the owner of the now-closed Patterson’s Flower Shop in Crozet.

According to a story from WHSV3 in the Valley, Patterson’s arrest was the third in a string of similar stings in the last two weeks. An Augusta Sheriff’s Office employee told the station departments across the area use Craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, and other sites to seek potential predators.