Man arrested after ‘grooming’ 16-year-old girl, Leon Valley police say

Mason David Caldwell, 43, charged with online solicitation of a minor

Mason Caldwell is charged with online solicitation of a minor.
Mason Caldwell is charged with online solicitation of a minor. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A Leon Valley man was arrested Tuesday after allegedly exchanging hundreds of messages with a 16-year-old girl, according to records obtained by KSAT 12 News.

Police arrested Mason David Caldwell, 43, on suspicion of online solicitation of a minor.

Investigators first began looking into Caldwell after a witness reported text messages between him and the teen, according to his arrest affidavit. Caldwell is a relative of the teen’s friend.

Days after the investigation kicked off in June, investigators were contacted by the Texas Attorney General’s Office after they received a tip about Caldwell on the Cyber Tipline for Missing and Exploited Children.

The tip led investigators to obtain a warrant for Caldwell’s Facebook, according to the affidavit, revealing messages that dated back to January.

“Documents showed (Caldwell) appeared to be grooming the victim,” investigators wrote in the arrest documents. “The hundreds of messages back and forth started with casual conversations and convincing her that other people might tell her it’s wrong to be dating an older person, ‘but it isn’t.’”

The conversations later turned sexual, according to the affidavit, with Caldwell sending the teen pornographic videos and requesting photos from her.

The teen later told police that she initially thought Caldwell was inappropriate “but as time went on (Caldwell) convinced her it was the right thing,” according to the affidavit.

Caldwell’s bail is set at $75,000, according to jail records. He remained in Bexar County Jail Wednesday, records showed.


About the Author:

Fares Sabawi has been a journalist in San Antonio for four years. He has covered several topics, but specializes in crime, courts, open records and data visualization.