Authorities are on the look out for 37-year-old Edward Tarras Jr. of Smyrna, Tennessee. He’s accused of posting an ad for models in the ‘talent gigs’ section of craigslist and then raping at least one of the women that responded to his ad.
Police say that the ad posted by Tarras said he was looking for models between the age of 15 and 24. One woman who responded to his ad went to his home and Tarras took measurements and then she left. She went back when Tarras requested additional measurements had her undress and that’s when police say he raped her. Unfortunately when police contacted Tarras they did not have enough evidence to arrest him and he took off. He is believed to have hopped on a bus to Tampa, Florida. Police believe he may have more victims including minors who may be afraid to come forward because of their parents.
I’ve been blogging about the modeling scam since MySpace’s heyday. It’s a favorite go to scam that predators like to use to get their victims especially underage ones. They prey upon their vanity and convince them that a life of glamour and fortune lay ahead. Sometimes the victims are physically and sexually assaulted while other times they end up being prostituted. As always parents you should educate your kids and yourselves when it comes to this scam. Not every person is cut out for modeling and not every modeling agent in the internet is one. In this case Tarras is actually a waiter at a local pancake place. Hardly William Morris.
Smyrna police want any one who had interactions with Tarras or know of his whereabouts to contact Detective Allan Nabours at 615-267-5434.
UPDATE 4/3/2013: Tarras has been apprehended. He’s also been charged with possession of child porn and is being held on $1.5 million bond.