Fernley Teacher Suspected Child Predator

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Log on to an internet chat room and you have little idea who is typing on the other side. In this case, a male detective in Ohio went into an AOL chat room, posing as a 14 year old girl.

According to the transcripts, the detective did not lie about her age:
"Ever dated a girl my age before?" she asked.
32-year old Phillip Depaoli responded "One younger at 13 and another who was 15."

"It quickly went to: I think you're beautiful, I think you're sexy. then it started to progess into some inappropriate chat for a 32 year old to be having with a 14 year old," says Detective Rob Hall with the Lyon County Sheriff's Office.

Lyon County Detective, Rob Hall, says Depaoli allegedly tried calling the girl on a controlled phone line and left several messages, some of them graphic in nature.

According to Detective Hall, the suspect then wanted to arrange a meeting: "There was some discussion of the suspect traveling to Ohio and trying to get together for the purposes of having sex. ANd there was some discussion of the 14 year old running away from hom and coming here to stay with the suspect."

But the final straw was when he allegedly sent pornographic photos, one of them of a child.

"A lot of times, to lower inhibitions and to make the victim feel that it's ok for adults to have sex with children."

News Channel 8 spoke with Depaoli -- who has not been arrested -- several times over the phone, but he was unwilling to talk in front of a camera.

However, he did say he was unaware of the girl's age, although the chat room transcript indicates differently.

Also, when detectives executed a search warrant and took his computer, he says they wouldn't find much; admitting to us he only had a few images of child porn.

The Lyon County district attorney is currently reviewing the case and should have formal charges soon.

Detectives are asking that he be charged with possession of child pornography. A felony punishable with 2-6 years in a Nevada state prison.

We also contacted the school district for a reaction, but they haven't returned our calls.