If you’ve been reading this site for any substantial amount of time, you’ll recognize the name Tom Dart. He is the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, which is one of the largest jurisdictions in the country. Sheriff Dart is also one of the most dedicated opponents of Backpage. He is largely credited as being the man who got the credit card companies to stop doing business with Backpage, even though Backpage had an injunction placed on him from doing so in the future.
Sheriff Dart recently spoke with the press to say that he is skeptical of Backpage’s recent actions of shuttering the adult section of their site. That section of Backpage housed thinly veiled ads for prostitution and child prostitution. Sheriff Cook also stated that the prostitution ads have merely moved to the personals section of the site. As I previously posted, while it may be free to place a personal ad on Backpage, you still have to pay for upgrades to make the ad more visible.
A couple days after Backpage made the switch, Dart said his officers set up a “date” with one of the women advertising on the site and confirmed she was charging for sex.
“We went out and arrested a person off the site,” he said. “We answered one of their ads and it was no different.”
So the fight is still far from over. While Backpage may have made a grand gesture, along with complaining about how their supposed free speech rights have been trampled, women and girls are still being trafficked on Backpage. Backpage may claim that the ads being posted in the personals are out of their hands, but as we all know they have a staff of moderators that the Senate alleges edited the prostitution ads to make them appear more legitimate. If they can use their moderators for that then they can use them to keep sex trafficking ads out of the personals, but I highly doubt they will.
Earlier today a 17-year-old gunman opened fire at West Liberty High School in West Liberty, Ohio. The school is actually known as West Liberty-Salem Middle /High School but for the sake of convenience I’ll use the former.
The as yet unidentified gunman is said to have fired several shotgun rounds through walls and windows of the school. A few of those shots struck 16-year-old Logan Cole who is said to be in stable condition. Cole was not the intended target according to police but no motive has been released as of yet. School staff were able to pin the shooter to the ground until police arrived. Police also searched the home of the shooter but it has not yet been reported if anything has been seized. So far the suspect has been charged as a juvenile with felonious assault.
As I was reading the reports of the shooting I kept running across one particular quote that always seems to make it into articles regarding the initial reports of a school shooting…
“Especially in … such a small town like this, where you pretty much know everyone who lives in the town, you just never think that stuff like this is going to happen,” she said.
I guess we have to go over the list again don’t we? Did anyone ever know about Littleton, Colorado, before Columbine or Newtown, Connecticut, before Sandy Hook? Even in Ohio, did anyone ever heard of Chardon before the shooting at Chardon High that left three dead? There is no ‘it can’t happen here’.
I’ll post more details as they become available and as time allows.
UPDATE 1/21/2017:The shooter has been identified as Ely Ray Serna. He is facing charges of attempted murder, felonious assault, improperly discharging a firearm, inducing panic and bringing a deadly weapon into a school safety zone. Prosecutors are saying that he may be charged as an adult. In my opinion he should be absolutely charged as an adult.
Also, it seems the school with many names is mostly known as West Liberty-Salem High School which is how I will refer to it going forward.
46-year-old Uber driver Asil Din, of Germantown, Maryland, is accused of allegedly soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl from craigslist. Din reportedly placed an ad on Craigslist that asked “Any local young lady available?” Montgomery County police responded to the ad posing as a 15-year-old girl.
“I don’t wanna lie I am only 15, is that ok?” the officer wrote.
“Ok. That’s fine I guess,” Din, who police say was writing under the pen name “Oscar” at the time, reportedly wrote back. “Wait I don’t want to get in trouble with that, when will u be 16? … as long as you are not the police. And I have had this fantasy for so long.”
Being the obvious romantic that he is, Din is said to have not only asked if after school was the best time to hook up for sex, but offered the girl $100 for each time they had sex.
Din is currently out on bond with a trial scheduled for April.
Once again, these kinds of ads are something that craigslist should be monitoring for, whether it be through moderators or software. It’s actually not that difficult, but craigslist either doesn’t want to spend the money or doesn’t care that their site is being used as a marketplace for sexual predators.
15-year-old Federico Guevara opened fire earlier today at Colegio Americano del Noreste, or American College of the Northeast, in the Mexican city of Monterrey. The shooting was caught on security camera footage, which then found its way onto social media, then traditional media. Guevara was said to be in a sitting position when he produced his pistol shooting the student in front of him, then his teacher. He then fired more rounds into the classroom striking two other students. He turned the gun on himself, pulled the trigger but missed. The gunman then said something to his classmates before shooting himself in the head. Guevara died later from his wounds at a hospital. The gun was a .22 that he had brought from home. The three victims are alive, but suffering from grave injuries.
No motive has been reported, but many reports say that the teen was being treated for depression. While many who commit crimes like this usually suffer from mental illness, is this really necessary to report? Many people suffer from depression, including myself. The way it’s being reported in this instance feels like it’s labeling people with depression as potential killers which further adds to the stigma of seeking mental healthcare. If history is any indicator the true motive will probably have something more to do with the shooter’s own failings that he blames on others.
UPDATE 1/21/2017: The shooter allegedly told other students that he would be bringing a gun to school but no believed he would actually do it. For God’s sake people, in this day and age even if someone says this as a joke you need to report it. Its better to have it be not true and have someone inconvenienced rather than having three people in the hospital with gunshot wounds to the head.
Police have also said that there is no truth to the rumor that the gunman threatened the shooting online.
20-year-old Keefer Mckenzie Ngirngesechei of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, is accused of using social media to force two underage girls into having sex with him. Ngirngesechei allegedly used Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat to solicit naked photos from girls. Once the victims complied he threatened to publish the pictures if they didn’t have sex with him. So far two 15-year-old girls have been victims of his scheme. The suspect is being held on $75K bail. Police believe he may have more victims.
Police believe there may be other teenage victims of Ngirngesechei. Anyone with information is asked to call Pennsylvania State Police at 570-459-3890.
Make no mistake, if the charges are true this is definitely a case of rape. Any time a man forces women to have sex with him under any kind of threatening conditions it’s rape, and any man who commits these acts should be labeled as a rapist.
24-year-old Bryan Asrary of Revere, Massachusetts, is accused of posing as Justin Bieber in order to extort explicit pictures from a 9-year-old girl for two years. The victim, from Los Angeles County in California, followed Bieber on Instagram and was messaged by Asrary claiming to know Bieber and promised a meeting with the alleged singer. The victim was then instructed to open a Kik account where Asrary is said to have posed as Bieber himself. That’s when Asrary is said to have threatened the victim into sending him explicit photos of herself. Two years later in 2016, the suspect is said to have tried to extort more pictures out of the victim by threatening to publish the original pictures. The victim then went to her mother who went to police.
In what should really come as no surprise, this is not the first suspect to try to pose as the Canadian pop star, or the second. In the annals of this website there have been two others who have tried to use the Bieber bluff. Their stories can be seen here and here.
While I can understand why a parent may allow their child to follow Justin Bieber on Instagram, it should still be done under strict supervision, not to mention that no 9-year-old should ever be allowed to have unfettered access to social media no matter how innocent their intentions may be. Any platform, regardless of how kid friendly it may be, can be abused by miscreants like this in order to corrupt your children.
When Krimpelbein met the victim, she wanted to drink and party, but he didn’t offer her any free booze, Krimpelbein told police. She would have to “give it up,” he said, if she wanted to drink.
All three of them were broke and they evenly split the proceeds from prostitution, Krimpelbein said.
Make no mistake, this is nothing more than two men taking advantage of a woman who more than likely has addiction issues and then turned her out for what probably amounted to beer money. The victim is listed as a missing person under civil commitment which probably means she has mental health issues as well, but the government violated Backpage’s rights if you hear the way they tell it.
25-year-old Dominic Pearson was charged in federal court with attempting to entice a minor for sex, but the charges hardly explain what it is alleged to have happened. Pearson is accused of allegedly grooming a 13-year-old girl over mobile messaging app Kik before arranging to have the Missouri girl run away.
What makes matters worse is that the girl was using her father’s cell phone to use Kik. At any time this man could have checked the app to see that this was going on…
“I am on the way to you, we are going to meet up with our ride,” said one message from “black heart.”
Other messages were more graphic. One said “I can’t wait to be with u and marry u.” Another indicated “black heart” might be coming to get the girl from the “east side of Nebraska, I am working my way there.”
Again, you may trust your kids completely, but do you trust everyone that they’re talking to online? You shouldn’t, especially on Kik considering it is rife with sex offenders and pedophiles.
In a case that is reminiscent of the trial of Dylan Lentini, 19-year-old Kyle Box, of West Carthage, New York, is on trial for the brutal stabbing murder of 62-year-old Randy Bent. Box is said to have met Bent in March of 2015 through craigslist after Box had posted an ad where he allegedly said “I’ll give you a good time you won’t forget.”
This isn’t the first craigslist murder I didn’t hear about it when it first took place.I doubt it will be the last either. How sad is it that craigslist murders have become so commonplace that they hardly register anymore on the media radar? That should tell you something about the chances you take when you use craigslist, especially if you’re just looking for a hook up. I don’t care if you’re straight, gay or your somewhere else on the gender scale, if you use craigslist to look for a one night stand you are taking your life into your own hands.
As you can see by the graphic I posted above, the Cleveland personals section is flooded with thinly veiled ads for prostitution. While it is free to post ads in the personals section, there are upgrades you can buy to keep your ads in better positioning and circulation. Also, as we know, Backpage does in fact have moderators that work for them, but obviously they’re turning a blind eye to the personals section now, or worse they’re still allegedly editing the ads and coaching the ad posters to make them look less illegal.
The bottom line is that as of right now women and children are still being trafficked on Backpage, absolutely nothing has changed and we should not let Backpage get away with this.