24 or 28-year-old Francisco Aparicio Cortes was arrested in Santa Rosa, California, for allegedly using a flashlight to peep into the home of an 11-year-old girl. After Cortes’ initial arrest, the girl’s father is said to have found several messages between Cortes and the girl on Snapchat that indicate Cortes may have had sexual contact with the girl. The girl reportedly used the Snapchat account of a family member to communicate with Cortes. It makes me wonder if this family member knew of the communications or just didn’t bother to check their own Snapchat account.
For the past two weeks, the news has been filled with stories about Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Details have been made public about his alleged serial behavior of sexual assault and harassment against actresses and other female members of the entertainment industry that according to some reports goes back as far as 1980. The number of women who have spoken out against Weinstein’s behavior has been staggering. This in turn has sparked the Me Too movement where women from all walks of life have come out on social media using the hashtag #MeToo to show they have been sexually assaulted or harassed, and again, the numbers are staggering.
Now I’m not saying that any woman’s sexual assault is more or less traumatic or impactful than any other, however, there are a number of women and girls out there in society who don’t have the freedom or liberty to say they were sexually assaulted too. I’m sure by now you know where I’m going with this. Thanks to websites like Backpage and people like its CEO Carl Ferrer, there are more women and girls than ever being trafficked for the purposes of forced prostitution and sexual slavery.
Many of these victims are forced into this life through either violent means or some form of deception, such as their traffickers posing as talent or modeling agents. Often these victims have no means of communication to the world outside of prostitution and are often raped by their pimps. Then they’re advertised to be raped again for money on sites like Backpage. Meanwhile, it’s the pimps and Backpage itself who make all the money. To make matters even worse, Backpage hides behind the concept of free speech to continue exploiting these victims.
Sadly, Backpage’s victims don’t receive the same kind of media attention as the Weinstein scandal. They have very few voices who are willing to shine a light on their plight and when they do many people ignore them because they either believe the myth of consenting adults or they find the subject to be too depressing to care about.
So while the women who are sharing their stories are brave indeed, let us not forget the victims who can’t speak on their own behalf due to the position of slavery they have been tragically trapped in.
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.
Ok, maybe I am cherry picking a little since I made a new header just for Snapchatting teachers. Plus I have 500 emails in my inbox that are all potential stories, so the teacher Snapchat ones tend to stand out. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not an issue.
For example, we go to Elkins, West Virginia, where high school shop teacher Albert Robert Chewning, is accused of allegedly soliciting three different female students for sex. The 37-year-old teacher reportedly cornered a 17-year-old student in a shop closet and tried to kiss her. Chewning was also said to have told the girl she would need to remove her underwear and give it to him in order to take an exam. He was also said to have tried initiating a relationship with the girl over Snapchat using the screen name ‘bigdaddy331998’. That becomes important later.
In a second case, another 17-year-old student complained that Chewning grabbed her butt and Snapchatted a picture of his junk to the girl. There was also a third victim who allegedly had intercourse with Chewney while she was a student at the school, but is 19 now. That girl’s birthday is said to be 3/3/1998, the same number referred to in Chewning’s Snapchat username. Police investigation into Chewning’s Snapchat account showed some type of ‘relationship’ between Chewning and the third victim. While the age of consent in WV is 16, there is what’s called sexual abuse by a person in position of trust, this includes teachers.
If any good can be taken from these stories, it may be not only is Snapchat weeding out these teacher predators, it’s also providing police with tons of evidence. The bad thing is, Snapchat is still being used by these creeps to try to assault children. My recommendation to kids is, don’t let your teachers know your Snapchat handle. If they find out, block them and notify a trusted adult. There are more official and legitimate channels a teacher can use if they really need to get ahold of you for educational purposes only.
(Story broke 5/18/2017)
Derren Justin Evans was a teacher at a private K-12 school in Gwinnett County, Georgia. Police allege Evans became friends with a female student on both Instagram and Snapchat. The student thought Evans was acting as a mentor. Instead of mentoring the student Evans is accused of forcibly kissing the student at school and inappropriately touching her. When the student messaged Evans on Snapchat for him to stop touching her, Evans is said to have had the temerity to request nude pics from the girl. At last report, Evans was out on bond.
As usual, my advice to parents here is to check who is on the friends list of all your kids’ apps. If one of them is a teacher at their school, which seems to happen frequently, let the school know. It may be innocent, but it’s better to be sure. Also, tell your kids if their teacher wants to friend them on social media, you need to know. It’s my opinion that no teacher should be friending their students on social media while circumventing their parents’ knowledge.
(Story broke 5/9/2017)
24-year-old Benjamin Chastain of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a youth volleyball coach who is accused of inappropriate sexual contact with one of his 14-year-old female players. Since Chastain was a coach, of course his transgressions started on the picture sharing app Snapchat. Chastain allegedly would message the girl on Snapchat about sexual matters, then would follow it up with ‘oops’. Have lol and j/k fallen out of favor? But I digress.
Chastain also allegedly would bring McDonald’s food to the girl while she was at school and they would eat the food in his car. At some point, it’s alleged Chastain grabbed the girl’s butt as she was leaving his car. He is even believed to have purchased the girl lingerie and requested pictures of her wearing it.
Chastain maintains his innocence, but how innocent can you be when you’re bringing the girl fast food at school, having her eat the food in your car, and buying her lingerie? No 24-year-old man needs to buy a 14-year-old girl something from Victoria’s Secret. That’s not even taking into account the whole butt grabbing thing. Luckily things didn’t advance any further than that.
Check your kids’ social media accounts, people. It’s better to find out something inappropriate is going on before it can escalate into criminal behavior that can have lasting psychological effects on your child.
(Story broke 6/7/2017)
24-year-old Dominique Joiner was a substitute school bus driver for a magnet school in Las Vegas. He’s been arrested for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student. Joiner reportedly thought it was ok for him to have sex with the student since she was over Nevada’s age of consent which is 16. However, Nevada law also states it is illegal for school employees to have sexual relationships with their students. It’s also been said Joiner used Snapchat, of course, and Facebook Messenger to solicit explicit photos from the girl.
According to the article I linked to from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Joiner is the 13th school district employee to be arrested for sexual misconduct since last July. This raises the question, have school employees always been this pervy, or do we just hear about it more often since we now live in an age of almost instant information from all over the world?
37-year-old Jason Wilt of White Oak, Pennsylvania, is accused of allegedly posing as a breast augmentation specialist in order to assault a woman. Wilt called himself Dr. J. Jones and replied to a woman’s ad on craigslist looking for breast augmentation in exchange for modeling before and after photos, because that’s totally how plastic surgeons get paid. Police say this led to Wilt going to woman’s Pittsburgh home where Wilt asked her to undress before he conducted an ‘exam’. The victim found out later that Dr. Jones may be a fraud when he texted her a pic of his junk. An arrest warrant has been issued for Wilt but so far he has not been apprehended.
I really hate to victim blame, but who believes that quality plastic surgeons are on craigslist and they make house calls? Even if there was a plastic surgeon who made house calls on craigslist, he’d probably have the same medical capabilities of this guy…
The woman is lucky that she was only felt up and not more violently assaulted as the fake doctor scam is not a new one. The sad part is people keep falling for it. A lot of craigslist crimes could be prevented if people would use just a hint of common sense.
32-year-old Richard Jay Johns, of Tulsa County, Oklahoma, was a physical therapist. That was before he allegedly inappropriately touched an underage girl during a therapy session. As if he thought his game was that strong, Johns is also accused of sending a picture of his Little Johns to his victim on the photo sharing app Snapchat. According to reports this wasn’t Johns’ first rodeo as the victim’s family was able to provide police with the name of a second victim who Johns allegedly sent a risqué picture to on Snapchat.
I’d be curious to know how Johns was able to find these girls on Snapchat. It could be that the girls were just being friendly in giving out their Snapchat names. Or they could have posted their Snapchat usernames somewhere public, like on a different social network like Facebook. If they did that, it wouldn’t take long for a stalker or predator to find them in order to send unsolicited dick pics. Sharing your Snapchat username indiscriminately isn’t going to make you famous, it will make you a target.
And yes, I realize therapist is very close to ‘the rapist’. That joke’s older than you think it is Trebek.
38-year-old Mario Alston, of Las Vegas, is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl from nearby Henderson, Nevada. Alston allegedly placed an ad on craigslist that the victim is said to have responded to. The contents of the ad are as of yet unknown, however, the conversation soon moved to the mobile messaging app Kik, where the victim is said to have given Alston her address. When the girl’s parents weren’t home Alston reportedly went to the home and sexually assaulted the girl.
Detectives say Alston and the 13-year-old started communicating non-stop on the “Kik” app. It’s an app where messages can be hidden from parents.
While Kik is a preferred tool of predators, the messages are only hidden from parents if parents choose not to check their kids’ phones. Despite all of its faults it’s not an app designed to be hidden from parents, you just have to now what to look for. I’ve even included a picture of what the app icon looks like at right. Both Android phones and iPhones have a button that list all the apps that are on the phone. Don’t just rely on the apps that are on the phone’s main screen. Again, you may trust your child, but do you trust the strangers they may be talking to?