38-year-old Vien Lam, of Louisville, Kentucky, was arrested after a father caught him talking to 12 and 13-year-old girls at a park. When the man approached Lam, the suspect ran off. (I guess you could say he was…wait for it….on the Lam.) When police interviewed the girls they reportedly said they had been talking to Lam since June on Instagram. They also said Lam was allegedly posing as someone younger and asked them to meet up. The conversations were said to be rather explicit. Thank God that father was at the park or who knows what would have happened to those girls.
I can’t stress enough to parents to check all of your kids’ social media accounts. Check their friends list, check who’s commenting on their pictures, and check who is sending them messages. You never know who may be trying to meet your kids at a park. It may seem like a daunting task, but isn’t your child’s safety worth it?
Michael Alan Guerra
21-year-old Michael Alan Guerra, of San Antonio, Texas, has been charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he met through the social networking and dating app Skout. Guerra reportedly first told the girl he was 16 and his name was Frank. While GUerra was driving the girl around, he is said to have forced the girl to perform a sex act on him.
Police were able to track down Guerra through his phone number. When approached by police Guerra reportedly told police he only meets girls who are 19. He also supposedly did not want to talk to police because “he had been through this before.” It turned out Guerra had a previous arrest for ‘having sex’ (child rape) with another 14-year-old girl.
Guerra was found out when the victim’s mother discovered her daughter had been in contact with a man on Skout. Skout’s terms of service states no one under 13 should use their app. Not only does the TOS say that anyone between 13 and 18 should have the permission of a parent or guardian to use the app, but the Google Play Store gives the app a Mature rating. TL;DR version is, no one under 18 should really be using this app. Skout is also owned by the same company that owns MeetMe, another shady dating app kids shouldn’t be using.
A story has been making the rounds about an Illinois man who let his 7-year-old daughter use the music sharing app Musical.ly. While his daughter was using the app she was solicited by an unknown man who asked her to take pictures of herself with her shirt off. Thankfully, the girl was a smart cookie and showed the messages to her dad. The dad did contact police but he also shared screenshots of the messages, which you can view here if you really want.
Normally, I would jump all over a man who let his 7-year-old daughter use any kind of social app, however, the man says he has learned his lesson.
“I know many will blame us parents for this happening” Summer says in his Facebook post. “But we never thought like predators and I guess we were naive in thinking that our daughter was safe on what we thought to be a kid friendly app. We have learned the hard way. I ask that you not judge us (many still will) but let our experience teach us all.”
Luckily no harm came to this man’s daughter, but his former passive outlook about social apps is shared by too many parents. Too many people would rather just hand their young children their phone or tablet and let them run wild. The advent of the internet along with its ease of access has emboldened these predators to stoop to unprecedented lengths to target your children.
Sometimes, I take heat from people who say that a child is more likely to be molested or solicited by someone they know rather than strangers online. While that is true, it doesn’t stop the people who are familiar with their victims from using social media to continue contacting them.
For example, take 26-year-old Kevin Forst of Bentonville, Arkansas. He’s accused of exchanging explicit pictures over Snapchat with a 15-year-old girl. That girl, from Florida, was visiting her sister in Bentonville, who was rooming with Forst. Forst was said to be flirting withe the girl while she visited, but the girl’s sister told them to knock it off.
Reportedly, they didn’t knock it off because Bentonville police received a call from the girl’s father in Florida to file a complaint about Forst. It seems the older sister tipped of their father who checked the girl’s cell phone and found the images. Forst is said to have admitted exchanging pics with the girl and being aware of her age. Forst is currently out on bond.
Good on the sister and dad for teaming up to catch this scumbag. There are too many families out there who don’t have the knowledge to stop a ‘relationship’ like this from happening.
And hey, not a teacher.
Hey, another Snapchat story without a teacher, however, I shouldn’t be making light of this since it’s a pretty disturbing story.
28-year-old Keri Harwood, of New River, Arizona, claims she met a man who would pay her to perform solo sex acts over Snapchat. Apparently her feminine wiles weren’t enough to keep the money flowing, as the man was said to have offered her more money to molest her two children and send him the videos. Payments that once hovered around the $100 mark quickly turned into payments of $500 to $600. Harwood allegedly molested the children while her husband was at work on at least five different occasions according to her own admittance. She is said to have told police she did these unspeakable acts because she ‘needed the money’. She’ll need the money even more as she’s currently being held on $150,000 bond.
It makes me wonder if Harwood started out as a camgirl. For those of you who may not know, there are sites where women, and men, can set up accounts where they can livestream themselves and set prices for certain acts. Models are paid in tokens, a type of virtual currency, instead of cash as to probably avoid prostitution laws. Plus it obfuscates how much models are being tipped and how much of a percentage the sites are taking in. In a number of these cases you can obtain the model’s Snapchat address to receive future images. It’s not unheard of for private deals to be made off-site. To clarify, this is merely speculation on my part, but it wouldn’t surprise me if this was the case.
As someone who was once entrusted to help raise two children this sickens me to no end. There were plenty of times where I was dirt poor as well and not once did I ever think about sexually exploiting my stepkids in order to make a couple of bucks. It makes me wonder what exactly she needed the money for. According to pictures on her social media accounts, it doesn’t seem like she was hurting for much.
No word on if the man who requested the videos has been apprehended or not.
You know, someone should start a website where parents like this are called out publicly, or maybe someone will.
Thanks to Lady Gray for the tip.
Hey look, a Snapchat story that doesn’t involve a teacher. Will wonders never cease? But, I digress.
Anyway, 18-year-old Zollise Kelly, of Roswell, Georgia, has been arrested for allegedly posting explicit pictures of his ex from when she was 16. Kelly was said to have posted the images on the photo sharing app Snapchat. The victim, who is now 18, says Kelly shared the pictures because she cut off contact with him and ended the relationship.
While 16 may be the age of consent in Georgia, explicit photos of a 16-year-old is still considered child porn. That’s not taking into account revenge porn is against the law in Georgia no matter what age the victim is. However, the sentence doesn’t seem to carry much weight.
Kids, it’s never too early to start protecting your reputation on social media because once a picture of you, explicit or otherwise, makes it online, it’s out there forever. That can come back to haunt you years later which could seriously impact your life in a negative way. It’s in your best interest to avoid situations where you can be photographed in any kind of compromising position.
Ok, maybe I am cherry picking a little since I made a new header just for Snapchatting teachers. Plus I have 500 emails in my inbox that are all potential stories, so the teacher Snapchat ones tend to stand out. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not an issue.
For example, we go to Elkins, West Virginia, where high school shop teacher Albert Robert Chewning, is accused of allegedly soliciting three different female students for sex. The 37-year-old teacher reportedly cornered a 17-year-old student in a shop closet and tried to kiss her. Chewning was also said to have told the girl she would need to remove her underwear and give it to him in order to take an exam. He was also said to have tried initiating a relationship with the girl over Snapchat using the screen name ‘bigdaddy331998’. That becomes important later.
In a second case, another 17-year-old student complained that Chewning grabbed her butt and Snapchatted a picture of his junk to the girl. There was also a third victim who allegedly had intercourse with Chewney while she was a student at the school, but is 19 now. That girl’s birthday is said to be 3/3/1998, the same number referred to in Chewning’s Snapchat username. Police investigation into Chewning’s Snapchat account showed some type of ‘relationship’ between Chewning and the third victim. While the age of consent in WV is 16, there is what’s called sexual abuse by a person in position of trust, this includes teachers.
If any good can be taken from these stories, it may be not only is Snapchat weeding out these teacher predators, it’s also providing police with tons of evidence. The bad thing is, Snapchat is still being used by these creeps to try to assault children. My recommendation to kids is, don’t let your teachers know your Snapchat handle. If they find out, block them and notify a trusted adult. There are more official and legitimate channels a teacher can use if they really need to get ahold of you for educational purposes only.
25-year-old Ryan Soto of Wesley Chapel, Florida, was arrested for allegedly soliciting for child porn over social media. Soto was said to have asked users of the social network and dating app MeetMe for child porn and tried enticing people by saying “the more illegal the more $$$”. Thankfully, at least one MeetMe user reported him to police.
When police caught up with Soto, he reportedly admitted to sending explicit pictures of himself to minors on Facebook Messenger and, of course, Kik. (The messaging app full of sex offenders, pedophiles, and child porn collectors) Police say that Soto had a number of child porn images on his phone as well.
If the material he was asking for wasn’t so abhorrent, his desperation for it would almost be comical.
Whenever I post a story about MeetMe, it saddens me that it used to be MyYearbook, which was originally designed to be a safer alternative to MySpace for teens. Not that it ever was.
If it wasn’t for Kik, I could rename this site ‘Teachers and Snapchat’, but I digress.
30-year-old Brock Smith, of Naples, Florida is accused of allegedly using photo sharing apps Snapchat and Instagram in an attempt to lure teenage girls for sex. Smith is a teacher at a local high school. Before you ask, no, it was not with one of his students. In a 2016 incident, Smith allegedly messaged a 17-year-old girl over Snapchat saying he would visit her where she worked. If that wasn’t creepy enough, Smith ‘had sex’ with the girl in the workplace’s bathroom. He then stopped communicating with the girl.
In a more recent event, Smith is accused of messaging a 16-year-old on Instagram and asking her to add him on Snapchat. The conversation soon turned sexual and Smith allegedly sent the girl explicit pictures of himself. He is also said to have messaged the girl saying he was “free in the mornings to meet for sex” and mentioned the girl could come over when his wife was away. What a class act.
For those of you wondering, and I know some of you are out there, the age of consent in Florida is 18 and the poorly named Romeo and Juliet clause doesn’t apply to a 13 year difference in age.
Again I have to ask, what is it with teachers and Snapchat? As I’ve said before, I’m not cherry picking Snapchat stories that have teachers in them. It seems like I see more Snapchat stories with teachers in them than other types of predators.
Naples Daily News
Brandon Royce Phillips
(Story broke 6/9/2017)
33-year-old Brandon Royce Phillips of Panama City Beach, Florida, was arrested for allegedly using mobile messaging app Kik to solicit explicit videos from underage boys. Phillips was said to have posed as a young girl named Katie Davis and solicited a 14-year-old boy to perform sex acts over the controversial app. Phillips was said to have had the Kik username of Katie.davis840. Posing as an underage girl is just one of the many tricks online predators use in order to gain the confidence of both male and female victims.
This is a good opportunity to talk to your kids about how people can present themselves online and how the cute girl they’re chatting with may be a creepy middle-aged man. And again, I still prescribe to the ideas of knowing who is on your kids’ friends list and not allowing them to have any internet connected devices after bedtime. Also, if your kids can’t identify someone on their friends list as someone they know locally and can identify by first and last name, then they probably don’t need to be on your kids’ friends list.
Considering Kik has a deluge of sex offenders, pedophiles, and child porn collectors, you may even want to consider not letting them use the app at all.