73-Year-Old Man Suspected of Being a Child Predator after Online Sting Operation

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EL DORADO COUNTY -- A 73-year-old man who was arrested on child predator charges not only lives in a neighborhood filled with families with small children, he’s also surrounded by kids at work.

Neighbors were shaken after learning that someone living next door might be a predator.

Police arrested William Stewart of El Dorado County Friday after he was caught in an online sting operation involving a minor.

Stewart is accused of sending explicit photos to someone who he thought was a 16-year-old girl but was actually an undercover deputy.

“I think it’s horrible and for it to be in my neighborhood? I’m really glad they got the guy,” said neighbor Nicole Mosack.

People living in the Diamond Springs community say the neighborhood is home to families with small children.

“We take them down to the park, there’s always kids playing in the streets. It’s a good neighborhood for kids.” Said neighbor Michael Wright.

Neighbors thought the area was safe.

“You don’t expect it. You never know where you live. Our kids take the bus every day. Right there. That’s the bus stop for the children. So now we have to be really careful,” expressed another neighbor.

Stewart works as a campus supervisor at the El Dorado County Office of Education and as a child safety worker at a nearby church.

And now, parents say they will be watching their children a little closer; monitoring what they do outside and online.

“We live in a sick world and the best thing we can do as parents is be more involved and to be aware of who our kids are talking to and what they’re doing,” said Bartley.

FOX40 went to Stewarts’ house and he says he was back home because he posted bail and is planning to hire an attorney in a case that he’s calling a “set up.”

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