Polk County high school principal among 89 arrested in prostitution bust

Updated:

Loading
POLK COUNTY, Fla. —

WFTV learned a Polk County principal was one of dozens arrested in an online prostitution sting.

Detectives arrested 89 people, including 49-year-old Lakeland Principal Cecil McClellan, on charges ranging from soliciting prostitution to drug offenses.

Polk County investigators said they started the online prostitution sting a week ago to coincide with the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Investigators said undercover sheriff's office video shows McClellan soliciting sex with someone he thought was a prostitute.

"He absolutely could not keep his hands off the undercover person," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

The married Kathleen High School principal, detectives said, paid an undercover detective in exchange for sex.

"One detective involved in his arrest said 'I recognize him. He was my teacher at Lake Gibson,'" said Judd.

But there's also a criminal justice program at this school taught by deputies, so the principal is very well known by law enforcement and people in the community.

"He had a rude awakening when he stripped off his Kathleen High School shirt that it was the Polk County Sheriff's Office," said Judd.

Kathleen High in Lakeland is where McClellan is, or at least was, a well-respected principal. He's now on paid leave from the school district.

During the sting detectives placed ads on the Internet and waited for people to call and solicit sex, or offer sex for money. Then detectives nabbed them when they showed up at a Lakeland hotel to do the deal.

Judd said three women specifically came from Alabama to work as prostitutes during the event.

But the sheriff said the worst offender was Glen Kershaw

"Our goal is to send him to jail for a very long time," said Judd.

Kershaw is a JetBlue aircraft mechanic from Orlando accused of showing up to have sex with someone he thought was an 11-year-old girl, according to deputies. Detectives said he's a husband and a father of two children.

Kershaw is being held in jail without bond.