Second-Best Local Boy Gone Bad (2002)

Tony Gentile

Gentile's guilty plea to charges that he communicated over the Internet with a Fort Lauderdale detective who posed as a 14-year-old girl, transmitted explicit photographs, then arranged to meet this "girl" at a Circle K, is shocking. But it doesn't induce that extra frisson of outrage one usually gets from sexual misconduct by a teacher. The 22-year Broward Teachers Union president was always more of a union operator than an educator; it wasn't like he was constantly around kids. In the end, for all his power and influence, he was just another sad, twisted guy trolling the Web for gullible young victims -- a story that is made even more depressing by its familiarity.

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