The Trench Reynolds Report

All Crime Is Personal

Police target online predators:

Did they really think this would work?

REDWOOD CITY — Recent arrests of online predators using the Internet to solicit teens for sex has local law enforcement agencies advising parents to keep tabs on their children while they are surfing the World Wide Web.

San Carlos resident Nilesh “Nick” Govind, 28; San Jose resident Julio Cesar Barbery, 25; and Pacifica resident James John Koch, Jr., 48, have all recently been arrested on charges of attempting to solicit sex from teenage girls over the Internet.

Nilesh Govind allegedly placed an ad on the Web site offering money to “Carlmont/Notre Dame” high school girls willing to meet him and be his “girlfriend” for an hour, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

A local parent tipped off police to the ad in early March, prompting the Belmont Police Department to set up a sting operation on March 10. It was during that sting operation that Govind allegedly offered a Belmont police investigator, who he thought was a 15-year-old girl named Amber, $200 in exchange for performing specific sex acts.

It was an anonymous informant who led San Mateo County sheriff’s investigators to a Craigslist ad titled “Daddy seeking young girl right now,” according to a search warrant affidavit filed by San Mateo County Sheriff’s Det. Jacqueline Chong.

According to the affidavit, the informant visited the “Casual Encounters” section of Craigslist after watching a television news special dealing with sexual predators on the Internet.

From late June to July 5, the adult informant, who identified herself as a 17-year-old girl named Natalie, traded e-mails with the ad’s alleged author, James Koch. In a series of e-mails Koch allegedly told Natalie he wanted to meet her, forwarding descriptions of the sexual acts he wanted to engage in with the girl. He reportedly sent the informant photos of his face and his body from the waist down, according to the affidavit.

The informant later told Koch that Natalie was only 15, however, once reassured that Natalie was not a police officer, Koch agreed to meet her. Koch was arrested July 6 at the Vista rest stop off Interstate Highway 280 in San Carlos while allegedly waiting to meet Natalie.

It was on March 29 that Menlo Park police officers arrested Julio Barbery after he allegedly engaged in a sexual conversation over the Internet with a police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl, according to San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Greg Devitt.

Who knew that you could find pedophiles in the classifieds?


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