Out of all the stories I’ve posted about mobile messaging app Kik, this may be the worst one yet. Even if you didn’t need another reason to keep your kids from using the app, you’re getting one anyway.
A 14-year-old Indiana girl went missing after allegedly meeting 21-year-old Ian Smith Buti, from Derby, Kansas. Investigators say Buti then took the girl to a Cincinnati suburb and left her with two other men before returning to Kansas. The two men are 25-year-old Eric Ho and 27-year-old Bryan Otero. Ho is accused of allegedly raping the girl while Otero has been charged as an accomplice.
What in the blue hell is going on in this country when one man preys on a 14-year-old girl online and then drops her off with two potential rapists before driving home like it was no big deal, like he just delivered a pizza or something. Buti has been charged with child porn offenses so God only knows if this was some kind of child porn ring or network. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone since we all know, wait for it, Kik is a veritable cornucopia of sex offenders, pedophiles, and child porn collectors.
What’s that you say? You say you have the perfect family and you trust your kids online? You think your kids are too smart to fall for something like this? Yeah, about that…
Her family said it was very out of character for the young honor student to disappear without a word, with some relatives saying early in the investigation that they believed she had been abducted by a man she met online.
“In all her school years she’s done very well,” her uncle said. “This is a good student. Something totally unexpected. Not in her character at all.”
The reason they’re called predators is because they’ll find the perfect way to prey upon your children. Even if your kid is in line to be the next Stephen Hawking, predators like this will find whatever they need from your kids to convince them to run off. If I was still a parent of teenagers there would be no way I would allow this app to be installed on their devices.
UPDATE 5/16/2017: Ho and Otero have both been also charged with conspiracy to sex traffic children and conspiracy to produce child pornography and are being held without bail. Buti, also known as Ian Smith, has been charged with exploiting a minor and is looking at 10 years in jail.
UPDATE from 5/24/2017: Both Ho and Otero entered not guilty pleas.
UPDATE 11/30/2017: Ian Smith has pleaded guilty to one count of production of child pornography. Smith is facing 15 to 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced in February.
UPDATE 12/11/2017: Ho has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sex traffic a child and conspiracy to produce child pornography, while Otero has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to sex traffic a child. Both are facing potential life sentences.
UPDATE 3/27/2018: Smith was sentenced to 30 years on child porn charges.