Thanks to this article from KYW Radio in Philadelphia (Come on South Jersey and Philly peeps sing along with Trench…KYW…News Radio…1060) I was introduced to a Facebook app called Friend Verifier. It’s an app that allows you to check your kids’ Facebook friends list for sex offenders.
The first thing you’ll need is a Friend Verifier account which is free. The second thing you’ll need is the login and password of the Facebook account you’ll be checking. Remember, you’re the parent. You should already have all of your kids’ logins.
Log in to your child’s Facebook account then go to the Friend Verifier website log in to your FV account then click on the button that says ‘Scan all friends for sex offenders’. It doesn’t hurt to check your own Facebook friends list either. Thankfully mine came up empty but I can say that at least in that way it works.
However even Friend Verifier will tell you that not every search is perfect and may miss a sex offender in their scan due to whatever information is already out there.
Wile FV is a great tool no tool is perfect and once again I remind you that as a parent you’re the only true defense between online predators and your kids.
This is another good story to show what lengths pimps and human traffickers will go to exploit their victims.
In Spokane, Washington, police say that 35-year-old Dante Dupree Oliver was prostituting a 16-year-old girl on Backpage while being held in county lock up. Oliver was being held for failing to register as a sex offender.
Oliver was allegedly prostituting the runaway on Backpage before his arrest and mailed a letter to her home to make sure she would continue making money for him.
A portion of the letter reads, “yea I want you posting every day makin at least 200 hundred dollars a day. We’ve been through this already. So u should already know the math.”
The victim in this case also was reluctant to cooperate; another passage from the letter delivered a warning regarding the teen’s loyalty: “this is the part where you plan on being in pocket and stayin loyal for life. Anything less than that is probably a bad move.”
So basically he wanted the victim to keep posting ads on Backpage while he was still in jail. Apparently Backpage’s so-called safeguards are discouraging absolutely no one.
Last year I posted about how an anonymous New Jersey pedophile told a local newspaper that instant messaging app Kik was ‘well known in their industry’. Now more recently a registered sex offender from Michigan contacted his local news station (WOOD) to tell them how dangerous Kik can be.
“This is not a toy. This is something very, very serious,” the man told Target 8. “This kik app is getting dangerous.”
Within minutes of creating a profile and without contacting anyone, two people — purportedly teenage girls — reached out to chat. One of the teens had a profile name indicating personal struggles.
The sex offender Target 8 interviewed said that is exactly what perpetrators look for.
“That’s when a sexual predator can jump in — like me. I would jump in and say ‘Hey. What’s your problem? Let’s talk,’” the man said. “I would be their comfort. I would be their go-to person.”
That’s all it takes. Within minutes of installing the app a predator could already be on his or her way to grooming your child.
It’s up to you as a parent if you want to allow this app on your kids’ phones but at least check it occasionally for inappropriate contact. As I’ve said many times before, you’re the only real defense between your kids and online predators.
24-year-old Joseph Oakes of Coventry, Rhode Island, was recently arrested for ‘having a sexual relationship’ with a 14-year-old girl. Not surprisingly, Oakes was using the messaging app Kik to communicate with his victim. Kik has previously been called a tool of the trade by an admitted pedophile.
The problem with Oakes being on Kik is that he’s on probation for a 2011 child porn arrest and according to the terms of the probation he’s not supposed to be on the internet.
I still can’t stress this enough that as a parent you need to not only know which apps your kids are using but who’s on their friends list. Even a tiny device like a smart phone can leave a huge open widow to your kids.
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.
Donald Gary Town
47-year-old Donald Gary Town was recently arrested in Missoula, Montana, for allegedly trying to solicit sex from a 14-year-old boy on craigslist who was actually an investigator from the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Town’s ad allegedly said that he was in to “young skinny” males. Town is said to have the investigator for explicit photos and of course was arrested at pre-determined meeting location.
Not surprisingly Town is a registered sex offender who not only did time for sexual abuse of children but also sexual intercourse without consent. He obviously didn’t do enough time. I mean who would have guessed that a sex offender would have taken to craigslist to find more victims? The answer to that question is everyone except craigslist.
Milwaukee police nab convicted sex offender in online sting operation:
Dale Lamont Williams
Police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, have arrested Dale Lamont Williams for allegedly soliciting a 15-year-old boy for sex through craigslist. Police there say that Williams posted an ad on craigslist looking for sex with someone young. When the 15-year-old asked Williams if he was ok with the boy’s age Williams was said to respond with…
“As long as you can carry yourself like an adult when you get here and the vibe is right. I’m cool.”
Williams then instructed the boy on how to get to his residence by bus. It’s always by bus with some creepers.
If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time you should know by now that the 15-year-old boy was actually a detective who is part of Wisconsin’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. It turns out that Williams is a registered sex offender who was wanted in Illinois for failure to register. Wow, another sex offender who re-offended. What are the odds? And he used craigslist too. This story seems so unlikely. Ok, that’s enough sarcasm for now.
It really should come as no surprise that a registered sex offender used craigslist to find his next victim. They know that craigslist itself does nothing to prevent these type of ads from being posted.
Statutory rape conviction gets man 50 years in prison:
Steven Lee Odom
Don’t worry folks. The crime took place in 2009. No one uses MySpace anymore.
Anyway, 26-year-old Steven Lee Odom was sentenced in a Rowan County, North Carolina, court recently to a minimum of 50 years for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl when Odom was 21. Creepily, Odom lived across the street from the girl and would watch her get off the school bus. He then began messaging the girl through MySpace and Facebook. That led to Odom having sex (child rape) with the girl.
So why such a long sentence? At the time of the crime Odom was already a registered sex offender. Odom had pleaded guilty to two counts of indecent liberties with a child in neighboring Stanly County. He only received probation for those charges.
A re-offending sex offender? I’m shocked and amazed since they usually tend to be such trustworthy people said no one ever.
Oh well, see you in 2064 if you’re lucky.
Sex offender jailed over online chat attempt with his victim:
This may be a worst case scenario but this is why you don’t leave your wi-fi unprotected.
26-year-old Shawn Piercefield of Indianapolis is a registered sex offender. He’s on probation for felony charges of soliciting a child for sex. As part of his probation he’s not supposed to be on the internet. Then again how many RSOs actually follow their probation guidelines?
During a routine check of his house officers found a cell phone that Piercefield was allegedly using in order to try to contact his victim over the mobile messaging app Kik. With Kik you need an internet connection, either you cell phone’s data connection or wi-fi. Piercefield was said to be using his neighbors wi-fi to try to get to his victim.
By the way that’s a probation violation and back to jail he goes. Maybe if they kept creepers like this in jail in the first place instead of giving them suspended sentences we wouldn’t have as many of these incidents.
Give me that fish!
NC judges: Facebook ban for sex offenders illegal:
Remember how in my last post I said the last time I checked it was illegal to be a registered sex offender in North Carolina to be on a social networking site? Apparently the last time I checked must have been in July because in August the law was struck down as being vague and unconstitutional.
The sex offender ban was put in place back in 2008 and was touted highly by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper. At the time the ban was passed I called it out for what it was, feel good legislation designed to further Roy Cooper’s career rather than catch criminals. I mean the ban could be easily circumvented, not that it didn’t catch a few of what I like to call Dumbfish. The reason I call them Dumbfish is because anyone caught is like a dumb fish that jumps into the net cast by NC authorities.
I don’t like the fact that this gives sex offenders one more avenue to their victims in North Carolina but this law was made to appeal to the shrieking soccer moms during the height of MySpace madness. Not to mention the law didn’t address online predators who weren’t RSO’s.
I’m ashamed to live in a state where this assclown keeps getting re-elected.
UPDATE: A week later Attorney General Cooper was able to persuade the State Supreme Court to keep the sex offender ban in place temporarily.