A Mustang newspaper editor was arrested after allegedly having an online sexual relationship with an undercover sheriff’s deputy he thought was a 14-year-old.
Jonathan Edward Wajte, 34, was arrested at the Mustang Times office Friday afternoon and later booked into the Canadian County Jail on two counts of lewd acts with a child.
A Canadian County District Court judge set bail at $50,000.
Watje first contacted the undercover deputy online two weeks ago, Cpt. Adam Flowers said. The conversations became sexual in nature during that time. On Thursday, Watje allegedly sent a sexually explicit video of himself to the undercover deputy. Due to the graphic nature of the video, Flowers said they decided to conclude the investigation and arrest the suspect.
“Based on the facts and how fast it escalated, we did not want to wait for a physical meetup,” Flowers said.
Once in custody, Watje admitted that he thought he was talking to a 14-year-old. He also admitted to taking the video and having sexual conversations with the undercover officer, Flowers said.
Watje’s cell phone was taken as evidence.
The investigation was conducted by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department and the Internet Crimes Against Children task force. The unit conducts investigations 24/7 through a variety of online and social media platforms.
Watje had been employed by the Mustang Times for nearly 10 years. Co-publisher Steve Coulter said he terminated Watje’s employment immediately upon learning about the investigation Friday afternoon.
“We are shocked about this and will not tolerate this type of behavior,” Coulter said. “We completely support the sheriff’s department and their efforts to investigate online child sex crimes.”
Watje is currently in custody at the Canadian County Jail.