Deryk Weber

A state trooper is accused of receiving nude photos from a Franklin County teen through a phone app.

Deryk A. Weber, 27, was charged Tuesday, May 18, in Franklin County Associate Circuit Court with felony attempted possession of child pornography, first offense. He also is charged with a misdemeanor for failing to report child abuse or neglect. 

According to the probable cause statement filed in the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office, in November 2018, Weber communicated with a 16-year-old Franklin County boy through a Snapchat group. Weber allegedly received an image of the boy’s penis.

Court records state the investigation was conducted by the St. Louis Police Department. When an investigation involves more than one jurisdiction, authorities can file for charges in any jurisdiction where the incidents occurred.

Weber was taken into custody at the Franklin County Jail Wednesday and released after a $30,000 cash-only bond was posted. He is scheduled to appear in front of Judge David Hoven July 18.

Failing to Report

The misdemeanor charge stems from an October 2018 failure to report abuse when Weber sent a text message to a person named Eric Parks about sexual activities involving two boys under 18, according to the probable cause statement. 

Weber allegedly encouraged Parks to discuss sex with the juveniles, the probable cause statement reads.

In March, Eric Parks, 20, Festus, was charged in St. Charles Circuit Court with attempting/promoting a sexual performance by a child, a felony. He was charged with misdemeanors for furnishing pornographic material to a minor and first-degree sexual misconduct, first offense, court records state.

According to Capt. John Hotz, director of public information with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Weber is on leave without pay.

Hotz said Weber was hired by the patrol July 1, 2015, and he was assigned to Jefferson County in Troop C.

According to a press release issued by the patrol in 2015, Weber is a Festus native. He received an associate degree in criminal justice from Jefferson College, Hillsboro; and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/criminology from the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Parks Charge

In March, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Parks, a volunteer in the St. Louis County Police Explorer program, was charged for sending pornographic images to a 15-year-old boy he met during a recruitment event at Lindbergh High School.

Police say the suspect had regular contact with juveniles as part of his volunteer duties.

It does not state in the St. Louis County Police probable cause statement filed in Franklin County how Weber knew Parks. 

According to the Post-Dispatch, St. Charles police were called to the victim’s home Saturday after the victim said Parks sent him inappropriate Snapchat messages.

Parks allegedly began sending the boy pictures of his genitalia and asking the teen for sex, according to reports.

Parks joined the county Police Explorer program in 2017, but he no longer is associated with the organization.