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.
The Dread Pirate Roberts’ douchier younger brother up there is 28-year-old Alex Bawek of South Dakota. He was arrested by police in Altoona, Wisconsin for allegedly soliciting sex from a 14-year-old girl on craigslist. Bawek was said to have posted an ad looking for discreet, hot, fun. Discreet is a code word for ‘please don’t be a cop’. Fortunately cops often disregard such codes, like they did in this instance.
Police in Altoona responded to Bawek’s ad as a 14-year-old girl, to which he said “I bid you good day.” Just kidding. He asked for pictures of the girl and told her what sex acts he wanted to do to her. He was in possession of a box of condoms when he was arrested which kind of negates any kind of “I just wanted to hang out” kind of excuse.
This is your clientele craigslist. A bunch of desperate men looking to ‘have sex’ (child rape) with underage children. If you even just moderated some of your ads, it could have the effect of discouraging other predators from using your website.
Holmen police responded to the ad posing as a 15-year-old girl. Gnewikow is said to have offered the ‘girl’ money for sex after finding out her age. When police arrested him at the predetermined meeting place. Gnewikow reportedly told officers that he was there to meet an adult woman from Backpage. So basically he was there to meet a prostitute rather than an underage girl.
I’ll say this much, that’s a pretty good strategy. If police buy it, you only get arrested for soliciting a prostitute instead of a child. Good in theory but horrible in execution because if the police are already there waiting for you, or show up right after you arrive, they already know why you’re there.
28-year-old Kevin Gowsell of Middletown, Ohio, was arrested in Eau Claire, Wisconsin for allegedly soliciting sex from police posing as a minor. Goswell, allegedly posted a craigslist ad stating he would be passing through town and had a room and hot tub to share.
At the time of his arrest in Eau Claire, Goswell is said to have taken a page out of the ‘To Catch a Predator’ playbook…
Goswell said he was concerned about the child’s welfare and wanted to meet her for supper to tell her it was not safe to meet strangers online.
A 42-year-old from La Crosse, Wisconsin, was arrested after he allegedly placed a craigslist ad that asked for “a little girl to play with for the night.” Police responded to the ad posing as a 14-year-old girl. The suspect reportedly asked for explicit images of the girl to make sure she wasn’t law enforcement. Police set up a meeting at a house and arrested the man when he arrived. He is said to have told police he was there to “meet the teen for ice cream and to lecture her about her behavior”. The ‘lecture her about her behavior’ was a popular excuse from some of the older men who were featured on ‘To Catch a Predator’. The suspect’s wife even said the man didn’t eat ice cream.
If you’ve noticed, I haven’t mentioned the man’s name because he died before he could be brought to trial. I was unable to find a cause of death, however, it may have been a suicide since his obituary reads that he lost his battle with mental illness.
While that is tragic, it doesn’t change the fact his ad was allegedly allowed to remain on craigslist for who knows how long, and only because of police intervention no child was actually harmed. It’s just another case of the predators who continually inhabit craigslist and craigslist’s refusal to do anything about them.
So how could such a young man get into child prostitution? One reason could be that Backpage makes it so easy for anyone to get into the prostitution racket. All you need is a gift card, a willing or unwilling person to turn out, and an internet connection. The bar of entry into the world of human trafficking has been severely lowered, thanks to Backpage.
While the article doesn’t state how Loyola was able to ascertain the Snapchat usernames of his victims, please stress to your children not to give them out publicly and they should treat them as they would their phone number. This can go a long way in preventing predators from contacting children.
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.
46-year-old Eric Beckman of Browntown, Wisconsin, is accused of allegedly using the Kik messaging app to solicit a 13-year-old girl for explicit pictures. Beckman posed as a 19-year-old pig farmer named Tommy Lee Holmes. While the article doesn’t explicitly state it, it gives the impression that Beckman did allegedly receive explicit photos from his young victim. Posing as someone who is closer to their victim’s age is a common trick used by many online predators.
Beckman is said to have even gone as far as to send a tablet to the teen through the mail. While tablets aren’t the most expensive pieces of tech anymore, this does show how far some predators will go to circumvent parental monitoring. So if you take away your kid’s device, the predator can still communicate with them with this secondary device. Again, with most messaging apps, all you need to use one is a wi-fi enabled device and an internet connection. They do not require a cellular signal.
At last report, Beckaman was free on bond.
Kik is probably the most frequently used app by predators who try to communicate with kids. As I’ve said many times in the past, Kik is inundated with sex offenders, pedophiles, and child porn collectors. If your kids are using Kik, make sure you know who everyone is on their friends list. If they can’t give you a last name of their friend or if their friend is not local or known to you, delete that contact or reconsider allowing your kids to use Kik.
Hey readers, do you want another story that shows why you should really keep up with your kids’ online activities? Too bad because you’re getting another one because not everyone has learned yet.
43-year-old James Daniel Werner, of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, is accused of allegedly abducting a 14-year-old girl from her Saginaw, Michigan home. That’s a 7 hour and 425 mile drive if you don’t take the ferry of Lake Michigan. Werner is said to have met the girl over the mobile messaging app Kik and convinced her to sneak out of her house. He reportedly waited two hours for the girl to come out of her house before physically forcing her into his car.
When they got back to Werner’s home, he claims they only slept together, like actually slept, and he never had any sexual contact with his victim. He claims he only touched her through her clothes and kissed her. Like, that’s not somehow inappropriate to say the least. The victim was able to contact authorities through a tablet Werner had left for her. Werner’s 9-year-old son was said to have also been in the house at the time but didn’t know the girl was there.
So unless you don’t want your child being transported across four state lines into the home of God only knows who, you might want to keep a better eye on your children’s online habits. The best advice I’ve heard, besides checking your kids’ devices regularly is to make sure they have no access to any electronic devices at night.
UPDATE 11/7/2017: In July, Werner pleaded guilty. This past Friday, Werner was sentenced to almost 11 years in federal prison.