It’s highly debated whether or not a large event like the Super Bowl increases human trafficking and prostitution in the area where it’s held. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. For example, take 33-year-old Justin Beard, of Branson, Missouri. Beard was in Minneapolis in order to work some of the public events leading up to the big game. Police say Beard allegedly tried to purchase two kids off of craigslist for the purpose of sex, or as I call it, child rape.
Beard is said to have responded to a craigslist ad from a father who claimed to be offering his 15-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son for sex. In exchange, Beard would provide the man with tickets to the events he was working worth $100. Thankfully, the man behind the craigslist ad was actually an undercover investigator.
As I’ve said before, if police are apprehending one guy looking for kids, there are others there who police haven’t caught yet. Human trafficking and child prostitution are real problems that affect all locations and social classes thanks to the worldwide reach of sites like craigslist. Craigslist refuses to moderate their own site and don’t tell me it’s impossible. If Backpage can monitor and edit their ads for illegal content, then craigslist is surely able to at least monitor their site for illegal ads.
Woman warns about pet adoption ads after paying $500 for nothing:
Florida woman loses $500 after wiring money out-of-state for a dog on craigslist that doesn’t exist.
1. Don’t ever wire money to people you don’t know.
2. Don’t buy pets on craigslist.
Not only do you have to worry about non-existent pets, but too many puppy mills advertise on craigslist.
Delavan man pleads guilty in child-trafficking case:
22-year-old Octavion L. Keith, of Delavan, Wisconisn, pleaded guilty to prostituting a minor on Backpage. However he claimed that he was babysitting the girl’s siblings so she could make money as a prostitute. Riiiiiiiight.
This is a story from back in October that has been ongoing since March.
38-year-old Bryan Leslie Pringle of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, has been charged with allegedly soliciting two 10-year-old girls from St. Paul, Minnesota, over the music and video sharing app Musical.ly.
The girls say Pringle would ask them to send him nude pictures of themselves and videos at least five times over several days.
The girls say they sent some pictures.
The victims say Pringle told them he wanted to meet them at a hotel and have sex with them.
I’ve never seen an app used to try to groom kids this young. Even during the MySpace heydays I wasn’t posting stories about 6-10-year-old kids being preyed upon. This is not an app to let your child be using unattended.
19-year-old Dominick Floyd Halverson, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, has been arrested for posting revenge porn online. Halverson is accused of posting nude pics of his ex on Snapchat after their relationship ended. He’s looking at three years behind bars and a $5,000 fine.
First off to the ladies, unless you’ve been in a relationship for years, don’t send nudes to any guy unless you’re ok with them being out on the internet forever. To guys, learn how to handle rejection like a man. If someone breaks up with you, move on. It might hurt like hell, but move on. You’ll be better off in the long run. Also don’t think you’re getting away with it by posting revenge porn on Snapchat. You may think the pictures disappear like Snapchat claims, but they don’t. That’s not even mentioning that the majority of states in the country have revenge porn laws that carry a decent amount of prison time. Is sharing nudes of your ex really worth a stretch in jail?
Federal investigators allegedly caught 46-year-old Matthew William Tolkinen, of St. Paul, Minnesota, creeping on craigslist for underage girls. The investigators posted an ad on craigslist posing as a 13-year-old girl looking for someone to take her to one of the Fifty Shades of Grey movies. Investigators say Tolkinen responded to their ad the next day.
Tolkinen is said to have referred to himself as ‘daddy’, of course. He also reportedly turned the conversation sexual with investigators posing as the girl. This included Tolkinen saying he wanted to take the girl’s virginity and sending pics of his junk.
When he was finally arrested, Tolkinen claimed he only had sexual conversations with women over 21, then it was 18, then he finally admitted to talking to the 13-year-old ‘girl’, but said he did it to arouse the girl and not himself. Law enforcement couldn’t argue with that logic and promptly let him go. Just kidding, he’s been charged with one felony count of soliciting a child online to engage in sexual conduct.
Not surprisingly, the ad investigators posted was in craigslist’s infamous casual encounters section where most of these child solicitation stories originate. Craigslist refuses to moderate this section in any way shape or form and I highly doubt they worked with the investigators in this instance. The only way to get craigslist to stop allowing ads posted by predators is to stop using craigslist. Sadly, that won’t happen because as a society we’re more concerned with the convenience of craigslist rather than any of its victims.
Bemidji, Minnesota, is home to part of three separate Chippewa reservations, which probably explains why someone posted a craigslist ad there, looking for a ‘young native’. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension noticed an ad that was allegedly posted by 20-year-old Lukas Devlen Fineday of Ponsford, Minnesota, looking for “any type of woman that’s down for anything.”
The BCA responded to the ad posing as a 15-year-old girl from Bemidji. Fineday allegedly still wanted to meet the girl for sex and a meeting was arranged at a local motel in Bemidji. He was arrested in Bemidji at a local WalMart where investigators found him before the meeting.
In case you’re wondering, the age of consent in Minnesota is 16, and even under the poorly named Romeo and Juliet laws a minor under the age of 16 can’t consent to sex with anyone more than 48 months older than they are. I guess 15 really does get you 20.
22-year-old Thomas Evans Conway of St. Paul, Minnesota, was recently arrested under Minnesota’s revenge porn law. Conway is accused of allegedly posting explicit pictures of his ex on Reddit while linking back to his ex’s Snapchat account. The victim was clearly identifiable in the pictures according to reports. The victim found the pictures posted online after she received an abundance of friend requests on Snapchat. I can only imagine how those requests must have read. “Hey bb wanna trade noods?” Knowing Reddit, that probably would have been the most polite request.
While technically this is a Reddit revenge porn story, the Snapchat connection allows me to discuss Minnesota’s revenge porn law. Bottom line, it’s no joke. It’s a felony that could lead to three years in jail, a $5000 fine or both. I’ve seen child predators get less jail time, so think about that the next time you want to post naked pics of your ex, or anyone else for that matter, to get back at them.
In Minnetonka, Minnesota, 28-year-old Ricky Turner Jr. and 25-year-old Brittany Harenza were arrested for allegedly running a multi-state prostitution ring on Backpage. The couple referred to themselves online as ‘King Finesse’ and ‘Finesse Bunnie’. Turner was said to have been the pimp while Harenza was his main recruiter. The pair are accused of placing thousands of ads on Backpage that allegedly included underage girls. The ring was said to have included 35 women and girls in 14 different states. Turner was also said to have recruited his victims on social media by promising them they would never have to worry about bills again and would tell them to ‘come home’. However, ‘home’ wasn’t as inviting as it may sound, as at least one of Turner’s victims claims she was forced to live in his home and would be beaten if she tried to leave.
Of course, all of the ads the pair are accused of placing on Backpage were in the dating section. So as usual, Backpage is doing nothing to stop these ads and they’re still making copious amounts of cash off of the victims of sexual slavery.
30-year-old Peter Joseph McGibbon of St. Paul, Minnesota, was arrested for allegedly soliciting sex with children through craigslist. Not just any sex mind you. Oh no. McGibbon’s ad reportedly said he was into ‘serious girls’ who shared his interest in incest. Let that sink in for a moment. He allegedly wanted underage girls who shared his interest in incest. Looking at his mugshot, he may have more than just a passing interest in it, he looks like he’s also a product of it. Since I can’t see all of him, I can’t tell if he has any flipper arms or anything like that. In McGibbon’s craigslist ad, he also reportedly said he was interested in starting a ‘nudist family’. That’s just more craigslist creeper code for wanting to have sex with children.
Police posed as a 15-year-old girl responding to his ad and McGibbon was said to be fine with her age. They arrested him at a nearby park. McGibbon was also under a previous child porn investigation when Google gave a tip to the NCMEC. Speaking of incest, when police tried to seize his phone, his mother stepped in and said they couldn’t take the phone because it had all his doctor appointments were on it. Well, that and some child porn police allegedly seized.
McGibbon had been previously charged with child porn possession in Florida but those charges were dropped due to McGibbon’s alleged diminished mental capacity.
It almost seems to me that craigslist’s lack of monitoring is emboldening wave after wave of pedophiles and predators who find acceptance among the other cretins on craigslist. While craigslist says it relies on community policing to flag inappropriate ads, it’s hard to take those ‘police’ seriously when they’re a group of abominations. Continue reading
21-year-old Jared W. Baratka of Plymouth, Minnesota, had been previously convicted of stalking a teenage girl. He was sentenced to 90 days jail and 36 months probation, but the jail time was suspended, because letting stalkers run around free is such a good idea. After being picked up for one of his many alleged probation violations, police found emails on his phone that has led to him being held on $1 million bail.
A 56-year-old man said he answered a personal ad on craigslist, which turned into a request to kidnap and sexually assault a teen girl in Plymouth. The man told police that, as a hobby, he roleplays on Craiglist in the adult section, but that in this instance it became too real when the man he was in communication with — who police believe to be Baratka — supplied photos of the girl, an address, and the make and model of the car driven by the girl.
The man supplied communications he had with Baratka to officers in which Baratka encourages him to kidnap and sexually assault the girl while filming it.
The informant repeatedly asked if Baratka was serious, to which Baratka responded “I definitely 100 percent want this.” He allegedly offered $100 to the man during their communications.
This is far from the first case of someone soliciting the rape of another person on craigslist, in what I refer to as ‘rape by proxy’. Tragically, a number of the ones who have tried this before have been successful. The one that leaps immediately to mind is Jebidiah James Stipe, who orchestrated the rape of his ex in Wyoming through craigslist in California. Only by sheer luck was Baratka not able to carry out his plan.