21-year-old Michael Alan Guerra, of San Antonio, Texas, has been charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl he met through the social networking and dating app Skout. Guerra reportedly first told the girl he was 16 and his name was Frank. While GUerra was driving the girl around, he is said to have forced the girl to perform a sex act on him.
Police were able to track down Guerra through his phone number. When approached by police Guerra reportedly told police he only meets girls who are 19. He also supposedly did not want to talk to police because “he had been through this before.” It turned out Guerra had a previous arrest for ‘having sex’ (child rape) with another 14-year-old girl.
Guerra was found out when the victim’s mother discovered her daughter had been in contact with a man on Skout. Skout’s terms of service states no one under 13 should use their app. Not only does the TOS say that anyone between 13 and 18 should have the permission of a parent or guardian to use the app, but the Google Play Store gives the app a Mature rating. TL;DR version is, no one under 18 should really be using this app. Skout is also owned by the same company that owns MeetMe, another shady dating app kids shouldn’t be using.
First off, let me say that I really don’t like using portmanteaus like ‘sextortion’ or ‘sexting’ in a headline. Unfortunately these phrases have become so commonplace I’ve no choice but to use them in order to grab someone’s attention.
Anyway, in the past I’ve posted about how online predators will try to extort children for explicit pictures of them over social media. While it’s more commonly reported with children this kind of blackmail can happen to adults too.
For example an Indiana woman was on the dating and social app Skout. She had begun chatting with a man who called himself ‘John Alani’. The man asked the woman for a nude pic and she obliged. As you can probably surmise that’s when things started going to hell. It didn’t help that she also sent him a picture of her driver’s license and social security number. In case you didn’t know by now those are two of the biggest red flags when it comes to being scammed. The man then started threatening her saying that he now had her kids’ names and threatened to have her sent to jail if she didn’t pay him over $3,000. He said that he had other women sent to jail. The victim refused and the man said that if she didn’t wire the money to Nigeria he would have her arrested for murder. Nigeria is the other big red flag when it comes to online scams since it’s the birthplace of such internet scams as the 419 scam.
While social networking apps and sites repeatedly want us to use our personal information for their gain I still say that you should be very guarded with who you choose to share that information with. You never know what you’re opening yourself up to.
50-year-old Robert Blaine Harris was recently indicted for allegedly kidnapping and raping two teen girls that he met on dating and social app Skout. Harris is accused of luring two 13-year-old girls from Abilene, Texas, to his home in Fort Worth where he allegedly repeatedly raped them. Here is what one of the victims actually thought…
“I thought we were just going to stay with him a day or two,” the teen said in January. “He had other plans.”
I can’t stress this enough to teens on social media. If an adult who you don’t know is befriending you on social media and is acting like they want to help you they only really want to help themselves to one thing. Harris is also a registered sex offender who was convicted of assaulting two women.
Skout is best described as a dating app and 13-year-olds have no business being on it. In the Android Play Store Skout is listed as an app for people 17 and over. That is just a general rating like the movie or video game ratings. I would personally say that it’s not for anyone under 18. Know what apps are on your kids’ devices.
20-year-old Kwangmin Jin of San Ramon, California, is accused of drugging and sexually assaulting four women in the San Francisco Bay area, specifically Fremont, California. Drugging and sexual assault are the terms the article used but let’s call a spade a spade. That sounds a lot like date rape.
Anyway, Jin is said to have met the women over Tinder, Facebook, Mocospace and Skout. Skout is new to me but it appears to be just another dating app even though it says its purpose is to meet new people. He allegedly used the aliases of Kevin Park, Kevin Jin, Jeremy Lee and Kevin Lee. Once he met the women he’d offer them a drink that was reportedly spiked with an unnamed sedative drug. The women would pass out and Jin is said to have sexually assaulted them while unconscious. Again, that sounds an awful lot like date rape to me.
Of course Jin may have more victims…
Fremont police said there is evidence indicating that there are probably more victims throughout the Bay Area. Anyone who may have had contact with Jin is asked to contact police at (510) 790-6900.
This story should serve as a reminder for both men and women regardless of sexual preference. Even though online dating has been a thing for close to 20 years now, if not longer, we’re still not at a place in our society where people you meet online can be trusted. Just from a safety standpoint online hook ups or one night stands should be avoided at all costs. I know that’s hard to say when you’re young and full of life and want to have fun. I get it I’ve been there and made some questionable decisions. Luckily none of them cost me any bodily harm. There’s a gamut of crimes that predators like this can commit from robbery to murder. It’s not worth losing your life over.
If you know someone who engages in this kind of risky behavior you may want to send them this story.