31-year-old Kevin C. Jarrett, of Kankakee, Illinois, was shot and killed in University Park, Ill., after a transaction from classifieds app LetGo turned into a robbery gone deadly. Mr. Jarrett was said to be selling his XBox on the app and his girlfriend was with him at the time of the shooting. Three suspects are said to have been involved and so far no arrests have been made at the time of this posting.
The suspect descriptions released by investigators were very vague. A witness told police they saw three people wearing all black. One of them was described as a juvenile, wearing his hair in an Afro.
Anyone with information on the shooting should go to the University Park Department or call (708) 235-4803.
This is the fourth murder connected to the LetGo app since March of this year by my calculations. That is about a murder a month. At that rate, LetGo may be spoken in the same hushed whispers as craigslist when it comes to dangerous online marketplaces.
My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to the friends and family of Mr. Jarrett.
Hazley was also allegedly prostituting a 19-year-old the same time he was turning out Desiree on Backpage. At one point, according to the unidentified 19-year-old, he made her watch him and Desiree ‘having sex’ and after Desiree died he asked the other girl to come back to work for him, saying, “Now that she’s gone, I got no money coming in.” Hazley is looking at 10 to life in federal prison. Here’s hoping it’s closer to life than it is to 10.
There’s a whole lot of ‘not caring’ in this tragic story. Rosales obviously didn’t care about the life of Desiree Robinson. Neither did Hazley except when it came to making money. Most importantly Backpage doesn’t care that 16-year-old girls are being peddled on their website as long as the pimps continue to pay for the ads. Desiree did have a family that cared for her and they still do. They’re currently suing Backpage for allowing Desiree to be prostituted. While most of these lawsuits have failed in the past, lawsuits like this may be successful in the future due to the Congressional investigation that found Backpage was editing their ads to make them appear less criminal.
The 15-year-old Chicago girl, who was gang raped on Facebook live, was threatened with a pit bull attack if she didn’t comply or if she tried to escape. Of course it would have to be a pit bull. I’m not saying that pit bulls are inherently violent dogs, but it seems like a number of criminal types own them as some kind of ghetto/trailer status symbol.
In other news about the brutal assault, the 15-year-old suspect who turned himself in, was accompanied by his mother at the time of his arrest. It makes me wonder if the kid received a righteous ass beating by his mom before she dragged him to the cops. One can only hope.
Speaking of the 15-year-old suspect, his public defender argued that the suspect shouldn’t be charged with production of child porn, claiming that the 14-year-old was the main aggressor. Judge Patricia Mendoza had a very matter of fact response.
“The very nature that he’s in the video … one can assume he was manufacturing child pornography,” Mendoza said.
So far this has all been handled in juvenile court. I would imagine that prosecutors are awaiting the additional arrests and evidence before the teenage suspects are charged as adults. I can’t imagine them not charging them as adults as it would be a grave injustice if the alleged perpetrators were only held until their 21st birthday or less. Continue reading “Chicago gang rape victim was threatened with pit bull attack”
Chicago police have announced that yesterday they arrested a 14-year-old male in connection with the gang rape of a 15-year-old girl that was livestreamed on Facebook Live. The unnamed suspect has been charged with aggravated criminal sexual assault, manufacturing child pornography and dissemination of child pornography, all of which are felonies. So far, I have yet to see any mentions of prosecutors wanting to try him as an adult, but I can’t see why they wouldn’t.
The police also announced that they have issued an arrest warrant for a 15-year-old male they also believe was involved with the rape. They expect that individual to be arrested soon. Several other teens and at least one adult are also suspected to face charges along with whoever was working the camera at the time.
Sadly, the investigation isn’t going as fast as police would have hoped since the victim has not only been severely traumatized, to say the least, but as mentioned previously, she is also being harassed by people in her neighborhood. It’s also unfortunate that the people who viewed the video as it happened and didn’t call police can’t be traced. According to this 2015 article from the Chicago Tribune, there is no law in Illinois requiring you to call 911 if you witness a crime, which is sad in itself as everyone who viewed this video and did nothing should have to face judgment for being the heartless monsters that they are.
A 15-year-old Chicago girl was dropped off at her home on March 19th after spending the weekend with her relatives. Sometime during that Sunday, the girl went missing. She didn’t return home until the following Tuesday, but before she had been found, she had been gang-raped by up to six men as it was being broadcast on Facebook Live, Facebook’s live streaming service. Up to 40 people watched the video live and not one of them reported it to police or Facebook. A teenager was able to get the video to one of the girl’s relatives who took it to a neighborhood activist who contacted police. However, the girl’s torment did not stop there.
After the victim returned home, she started receiving threats online including threats of violence. The girl and her family have since been relocated to a safe place by Chicago authorities.
So far no arrests have been made but a juvenile was taken into custody shortly after the girl was found.
This isn’t the first time Facebook has made headlines out of Chicago with these types of crimes. Back in January, four people were arrested for allegedly broadcasting the torture of a developmentally challenged man who thought one of his attackers was his friend. Also, in 2013, prior to the advent of Facebook Live, a gang of Chicago teens raped a 12-year-old girl, then posted the video to Facebook.
Just because apps like Kik and Snapchat have become more popular with online predators, that doesn’t mean that you can let your guard down when it come to Facebook. When it comes to your kids’ mobile devices not only do you have to keep an eye on Facebook but Facebook Messenger as well. Facebook Messenger only appears as ‘Messenger’ on mobile devices but uses the icon seen at right. Even if your kids only use the desktop version of Facebook you should probably still know their login and password as the desktop version now has a messenger that is just as robust as the mobile one. This would probably be a good chance to also educate your kids that not everyone on the internet is who they say they are and if they’re offering them money they’re more than likely doing so for nefarious purposes.
If you’ve been reading this site for any substantial amount of time, you’ll recognize the name Tom Dart. He is the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, which is one of the largest jurisdictions in the country. Sheriff Dart is also one of the most dedicated opponents of Backpage. He is largely credited as being the man who got the credit card companies to stop doing business with Backpage, even though Backpage had an injunction placed on him from doing so in the future.
Sheriff Dart recently spoke with the press to say that he is skeptical of Backpage’s recent actions of shuttering the adult section of their site. That section of Backpage housed thinly veiled ads for prostitution and child prostitution. Sheriff Cook also stated that the prostitution ads have merely moved to the personals section of the site. As I previously posted, while it may be free to place a personal ad on Backpage, you still have to pay for upgrades to make the ad more visible.
A couple days after Backpage made the switch, Dart said his officers set up a “date” with one of the women advertising on the site and confirmed she was charging for sex.
“We went out and arrested a person off the site,” he said. “We answered one of their ads and it was no different.”
So the fight is still far from over. While Backpage may have made a grand gesture, along with complaining about how their supposed free speech rights have been trampled, women and girls are still being trafficked on Backpage. Backpage may claim that the ads being posted in the personals are out of their hands, but as we all know they have a staff of moderators that the Senate alleges edited the prostitution ads to make them appear more legitimate. If they can use their moderators for that then they can use them to keep sex trafficking ads out of the personals, but I highly doubt they will.
By now I’m sure we’ve all heard about the beating and torture that was streamed on Facebook Live out of Chicago. What the headlines were quick to point out is that the suspects were black and the victim was white. What the media was not very quick to point out was everything else in the story. Then again, facts don’t sell papers or get clicks from Facebook, knee-jerk outrage does in these times. In what seems to be the norm these days, most people online were quick to defend their own personal biases in the wake of this story while the truth became lost. It’s my hope to wade through the muck of personal prejudice to find at least a rose petal of truth.
The 18-year-old man, who had been reported missing by his parents in Crystal Lake earlier this week, is shown crouching in a corner on a video carried on Facebook Live. His wrists are bound and his mouth is taped shut.
As a woman shoots the video, two men cut the man’s shirt with knives, then take turns punching him and stomping his head. One of the men cuts the victim’s hair and scalp with a knife, and it appears the man is bleeding.
As the man crouches against a wall, someone shouts, “F‑‑‑ Donald Trump” and “F‑‑‑ white people.”
That was all that was needed to send the Facebook knee jerk brigade into full meltdown. In some cases you could almost smell the kerosene being poured on the crosses. A lot of people seemed to be under the impression that this roving gang of black thugs were just roaming the streets of Chicago looking for someone white that they could torture because Trump won the election. Cries of ‘hate crime’ rang down from the pale tableau of the Facebook masses. Those charged with the attack are Jordan Hill, 18; Tesfaye Cooper; 18; Brittany Covington, 18; and Tanishia Covington, 24. They have all been charged with hate crimes as the mob had demanded. As it turns out, race may have been the least of the motives involved.
Now having said all that, some of you may have the notion that somehow I am trying to excuse the four suspects from what they’ve done. Nothing could be further from the truth. They deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and sentenced to whatever the maximum punishment may be. However, we shouldn’t be outraged by the races of everyone involved with this crime, but rather the fact that four people not only brutally tortured a special needs man but had the audacity to broadcast it live on Facebook. We shouldn’t be blaming the Black Lives Matter Movement or Donald Trump voters for this crime as no one involved is representative of either base. The only thing that race had to with this crime is that it made for inflammatory headlines. Should they have been charged with a hate crime? Absolutely, but mostly because the victim is mentally diminished.
Ask yourselves this. If the victim had been black, would this had been just another story out of crime ridden Chicago? Would there be any Facebook outrage then? Respectively, those answers would be yes and no.
I’ll be posting more updates on this story as they become available and as time allows.
UPDATE 1/29/2017: On Friday the public defenders representing the quartet said they want their clients released because they “are young people who do not deserve to be there.” If this story wasn’t so tragic that might almost be funny. If they felt old enough to torture this poor man, then they’re old enough to be in jail.
32-year-old Antonio Rosales of Chicago is accused in the murder of 16-year-old Desiree Robinson in Markham, Illinois, on Christmas Eve. Rosales was attending a party in Markham when he saw an ad for Robinson on Backpage. Rosales had sex with Robinson, but when he couldn’t pay her he allegedly punched her and slit her throat. Robinson’s friends went to the house where the party was where they found Robinson’s body and a knife. The autopsy said that Robinson had been beaten and choked before having her throat slit.
While I hope that prosecutors do everything within their power to put this scumbag behind bars for the rest of his unnatural life, I hope they’re also looking to prosecute the people who put Desiree Robinson on Backpage to begin with. While some may argue that Ms. Robinson was on Backpage by choice, I find that very hard to believe. The first thing that indicates to me that she was being trafficked is that she had been reported missing as a runaway since November 29th. Pimps and traffickers often convince their underage victims to run away with promises of a life of luxury. Ms. Robinson’s mother also said that Desiree had contacted her but couldn’t tell her mother where she was. Victims of sex trafficking often can’t reach out to their family due to threats of violence against them and their family. I also have to wonder if her ‘friends’ were her pimp and enforcers. A number of prostitutes often travel with a ‘security guard’. They’re supposed to make sure that not only does the prostitute collect the money for the pimps, but they’re also supposed to make sure that the prostitute doesn’t run off. Sounds a lot like slavery doesn’t it?
As far as I’m concerned, whoever turned her out on Backpage is as equally culpable in her death as Rosales allegedly is. This isn’t even taking into account that Backpage once again allowed a minor to be sold for sex on their website which led to her violent death. Just another drop of blood money in their already overflowing coffers.
UPDATE 2/7/2017: The family of Desiree Robinson have made it known that they plan on suing Backpage for Desiree’s death. I hope they’re successful in that endeavor, however history is not on their side as all similar lawsuits filed against Backpage were dismissed.
Police posed as a 15-year-old girl while responding to Beltran. He reportedly responded to the investigator asking the girl if she was shaved. When a meeting had finally been arranged he is said to have messaged the girl by asking “are you ready for daddy to pick you up?” Police say that Beltram was fully aware of the girl’s age when one of his responses was “I’m the one who could go to jail.” With psychic powers like that he should play the lottery. Oh wait, he can’t, he’s in jail on $500,000 bond.
Meanwhile, craigslist founder Craig Newmark recently donated a million dollars in order to combat fake news. Maybe he should have used that money for moderators on craigslist to keep predators like this off their site.