NEW CASS COUNTY CHILD SEX CRIME CASES SHOW HOW PEDATORS ARE USING SOCIAL MEDIA
October 23, 2019
Valley News Live
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Social media can be a tool for good by allowing parents to track their kids every move, yet there's also a dark side and a recent Fargo police investigation showed how predators are spinning a web to lure kids into their trap.
Over the last month and a half evidence has been submitted in Cass County District Court for at least three different cases.
They shine a light on how social media is being used to get nude photos from underage girls and then to arrange payment.
Documents newly released to the public stated a 16-year-old Fargo girl was caught sending photos to a 26-year-old man living in Leeds, North Dakota.
According to police, the suspect paid her $1,800 using an app called Venmo that allows a person to instantly transfer money to another person's bank account.
The teen was able to avoid detection from adults by constantly changing her social media passwords.
“You can't control what happens with those photos once you send them out and the possession and distribution of such photos is a felony in the state of North Dakota,” Jessica Schindeldecker of the Fargo Police Department.
Fargo police have been proactive in bridging the information gap between what teens know and what parents don’t know.
“What's popular today might not be important next month, so it's really important to make sure that we're protecting our kids, and it's important to us that way we can reduce the chance of them being victims,” Schindeldecker said.
Case in point, Fargo police arrested Jason Dvorak, 36, at a gas station parking lot for having an 8-year-old girl send him nude photos.
In West Fargo, a 16-year-old girl told her parents she was being harassed by a man on Snapchat for sex and nude photos.
Law enforcement acknowledge that the biggest challenge is that as technology changes, so are criminals and their tactics. The struggle is trying to stay a step ahead
Some of the charges a person who sends or receives nude photos can face are sexual extortion or obscenity, which are both felonies.
Message from Executive Director Laura A. Ahearn: Please visit our website at www.crimevictimscenter.org for news, information and resources in your community.