Former Central Michigan University Student Brendan Andrew Baia, 19, was recently arrested for allegedly exchanging explicit Snapchats with a 12-year-old girl. Baia has left the school after the criminal charges were levied against him. Even at the young age of 19, Baia seems to hit all the stereotypical online predator tropes.
He is said to have referred to this victim as ‘little girl’ and made the girl address him as ‘daddy’. When confronted by the girl’s mother, he said that he thought the victim was ‘turning 16 soon’. When the girl’s mother accused him of preying on other girls he had quite the unusual response…
“Now I’m petrified to think about the things I thought were pleasurable before and that’s how it should be.”
Lastly, he told police that his explicit exchanges with the girl were “only fantasy”. If he had said they were only going to ‘hang out’ we would have had online predator Bingo.
Even if the victim was about to turn 16, that would mean that not only would she be under the age of consent in Michigan, but the explicit images he received from her would still be child porn.
I have to commend the girl’s mother. After the girl started appearing depressed, she had the presence of mind to check the girl’s phone where she found evidence of the Snapchat exchanges between her daughter and Baia. However, parents need to be reminded that no matter how cute the Snapchat filters are, it’s not really a place for unsupervised children due to the messaging feature and the perceived notion that the messages and pictures disappear.