32-year-old Patrick Leo Simmons of Oakland, California, is accused of allegedly prostituting an underage girl on backpage. Investigators say that Simmons sexually abused the girl and physically assaulted her to keep her in line. Showing just what lengths pimps and traffickers will go to in order to find new victims police say that he picked up his victim in a bible study class.
Hey Backpage, good job on blocking this ad for an underage girl. Oh wait, you didn’t because your so-called screening process doesn’t work.
Unfortunately it wasn’t anyone from Backpage.
I originally posted about Eric Omuro here. He was the operator of escort website MyRedbook when he was arrested by the FBI on prostitution and money laundering charges back in June. Earlier this month Omuro pleaded guilty to facilitating prostitution.
Omuro admitted that the website hosted advertisements posted by prostitutes containing explicit photos, graphic descriptions of sexual services offered, and rates for the sexual services.
The reason this is a big deal is because it’s the first successful prosecution of its kind. Normally people like this hide behind free speech arguments or the massively outdated Communications Decency Act of 1996 to say that they’re not responsible for what their users post on their websites. However the website operators like Omuro know that these ads are for prostitution. They’re not that stupid and are too greedy to stop.
Hopefully Omuro’s guilty plea put Backpage on notice letting them know maybe they’re not as untouchable as they think they are.
UPDATE 5/2/2015: As part of his plea agreement Omuro must forfeit two cars and over one million dollars. Sentencing is scheduled for later this month.
UPDATE 5/27/2015: Omuro was sentenced to 13 months in federal prison.
And for those of you defending Omuro and MyRedBook…
The FBI identified more than 50 juveniles advertising prostitution on myRedBook, according to court documents.
Now hopefully the feds can go after Backpage before they flee the country.
There’s not many worse nightmares for a parent then finding a strange man in your child’s bedroom. Unfortunately that nightmare came true for a father in Bay Point, California when he found a 29-year-old man in the bedroom of his 12-year-old daughter.
That man was Jose Simentel of Hayward, California who allegedly used the smart phone messaging app Kik to gain the girl’s confidence. Simentel has been charged with allegedly molesting the girl. Even worse is that Simentel is a registered sex offender who was previously convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14.
Kik is used for instant messaging on smartphones like AIM and Yahoo Messenger were used on desktop computers and should be treated as such. Know what apps your kids are using and know who are on their friends lists. If you don’t leaving a virtual window open to your kids is just as dangerous as leaving a real one open.
I originally posted about Abdullah Alkadi here. He was the 23-year-old student from Cal State-Northridge who went missing after selling his car on craigslist. I was hoping that he would be found alive but sadly that is not the case.
Police say that Abdullah was stabbed to death by 28-year-old Agustin Rosendo Fernandez of Long Beach. Fernandez is said to have killed him in order to steal the car. Fernandez was allegedly in possession of the car at the time of his arrest.
My prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Abdullah Alkadi.
I’ll post more as additional details become available and as time allows.
Recently 29-year-old death metal singer Lane Steele Kozloff was recently arrested in Torrance, California for allegedly soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl on craigslist. Investigators say that Kozloff placed an ad looking for a “lil girl”. Ew. Kozlofff is said to have arranged a meeting with the girl at a restaurant and that the back of his SUV was all laid out with a makeshift bed. Of course the 14-year-old girl was actually a federal agent. When you have a bed in the back of your ride you can’t really argue that you were just going to ‘hang out’.
I’m not going to mention his band or anything because the rest of the band probably had nothing to do with it however it is of interest that Kozloff has worked as a substitute teacher at a music school. I guess he can kiss that gig goodbye.
23-year-old Abdullah Alkadi, who attends Cal State-Northridge, has been missing since Wednesday after selling his car on craigslit. Police have found his car but the new owner says they have nothing to do with the disappearance.
Alkadi is of Middle Eastern descent and stands at 5 feet, 3 inches. He weighs 110 pounds.
Police say Alkadi was last seen wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans and beige shorts.
Anyone with information as to Alkadi’s whereabouts was asked to call Detective Carlton from the LAPD’s Missing Persons Unit at (213) 996-1800 or 1-877-LAPD-24-7 during non-business hours or on weekends.
I’ll post more details as they become available however I hope I can delete this post after he’s found safe.
54-year-old George Hristovski of Elverta, California, used to be an agent for the TSA. I say used to because he was recently arrested by the FBI for allegedly looking for mother-daughter sex on craigslist.
Investigators say that Hristovski placed an ad on the casual encounters section of craigslist looking to have sex with a mother and underage daughter. He received a response to his ad from a 30-year-wold woman with a 13-year-old daughter who said she was willing to entertain his sick requests. Reports say that e-mails sent from Hristovski to the mother were quite graphic and explicit. Of course the mother was actually an investigator for the Placer County Sheriff’s Department who traced his IP address to a Homeland Security owned computer. Homeland Security oversees the TSA and the TSA has terminated Hristovski’s employment. The FBI said that at the time of his arrest at his home Hristovski tried claiming that it was just a fantasy. Right, and if he showed up at a meeting point he probably would have been there to just ‘hang out’.
Just another sexual predator on craigslist who possibly could have used his government connections to do God only knows what to his victims. Yet craigslist gets yet another pass. Heaven forfend they should actually do any kind of moderation of their own site.
Vaping lounges are basically coffees shops for vapers. You can go there and hang out, talk with other vapers, maybe enjoy a new flavor of e-juice, etc. You would think that people would be happy that so many people are quitting smoking that lounges are being established to encourage that kind of behavior. In Signal Hill, California not so much.
If the mayor and city council get their way all vaping lounges will be banned within their city limits. I don’t know how big Signal Hill is or if there are already any vaping lounges there. What I do care about is the idiocy in which this ban is moving forward. Let’s hear from His Honor…
Signal Hill Mayor Ed Wilson, who declared he doesn’t smoke, said his main concern with e-cigarettes is the potential for use among underage children, particularly since there are currently no federal age restrictions.
“The increase in kids doing it has been astronomical,” he said. “And the problem is we don’t know if nicotine is in [the liquid]… and nicotine is addicting. Every time I see someone who has one, they can never ever put it down. And they hold it. They walk around with it. It’s in their hand all day long.”
With all due respect Mr. Mayor, you sound like a moron. Are kids trying this any more than smoking? Somehow I doubt it since any vape store or lounge I’ve ever been in does not permit minors to be in their establishments. I wonder who told you otherwise. Was it some staffer or some talking head you saw on TV? Yes, there is nicotine in most e-juices. It’s what allows us ex-smokers to transition from smoking to the less dangerous vaping and it also allows us to decrease our nicotine intake to zero if we so desire, something that cigarettes don’t allow us to do. Lastly so what if someone has one in their hand all day? I don’t vape like that but that’s up to the individual but anytime they have a mod or e-cig in their hand is time that they are not smoking.
Politicians may just be the dumbest people of the face of the planet.
Personally I think people who push their kids into modeling are mentally deficient. Too many people see it as a get rich quick scheme without realizing how many people out there want to take advantage of their children. I’ve posted too many stories about child predators and human traffickers who used the allure of modeling to get close to their victims. However if you’re going to push your kid in that direction don’t post ads on craigslist looking for work for your kid.
One such woman from Bakersfield, California placed such an ad and police say it was responded to 43-yer-old Charles Max Pollock of Las Vegas. That’s over a four-hour trip and almost 300 miles in case you were wondering. Pollock allegedly said that he was a photographer, rented a motel room and took explicit photos of the child. No word on the age of the child but he’s at least of computer using age since the article states that Pollock continued communication with the child. Since Pollock crossed state lines he’s looking at 30 years in federal prison.
Craigslist is the cesspool of the internet. If you post just about any ad in regards to an underage child you more than likely to get a response from a child predator than a talent agent.
This time the answer could be maybe.
The San Francisco office of the FBI recently announced that they had shut down ‘escort’ site MyReddbook and arrested its proprietor Eric Omuro. He’s been charged with facilitating prostitution and money laundering. The FBI has also taken possession of the website and visitors to the site are greeted with an FBI takedown page.
Now of course this raises the question will the feds go after Backpage next? Well, that depends. I get the impression that they were able to close down MyRedbook more due to the money laundering than the facilitation of prostitution. While MyRedbbok was a major player in online sex trafficking it pales in comparison to the scope of Backpage. MyRedbook is a mom and pop store compared to Backpage’s corporate command of the internet. Backpage’s owners, Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, maybe morally bankrupt as human beings but I doubt they’re stupid enough to get involved in something small time like money laundering. However I really hope this arrest makes them more than a little nervous.
UPDATE 7/5/2014: Omuro has pleaded not guilty to the prostitution and money laundering charges.