Sparrows Point, MD, A 36 year old man has been charged with sexual solicitation of a minor, second degree sex offense, and related charges after the parents of a 13-year-old boy reported that he had sexual contact with their son.
This case is unlike the “To Catch a Predator” sting operations. In those cases law enforcement, acting as decoys lure online predators to a location and then make arrests. However, in this situation it is alleged that the victim and the suspect met through an i-phone application called “Grinder” and agreed to engage in sexual activity.
The use of digital technology and Social Networking online has a darker side when it involves sexual predators. Nationally, “Project Safeguard” is working to protect children. On the local level, Law Enforcement actively conduct “sting operations” similar to the “Catch a Predator series”.
The “Avenue News” reported on August 2, 2012, that “during the investigation, detectives learned that the suspect drove to an area near the victim’s home after arranging to meet with the boy. He then engaged in sexual activity with the victim’.
Thus, it is likely that the Baltimore County Sate’s Attorney’s Office will prosecute the more serious Charge of Second Degree sex. The defendant has been released on a $75,000.00 bail pending trial.
In these cases Law Enforcement will typically execute a search warrant and seize Cell Phones, Computers, and hard drives. A forensic analysis of the computer, phone, hard drives will be performed. During the Discovery phase of the trial this information, if any, will be provided to the Defense. The Defense will develop as facts and allegations are learned.
Although the allegations are very disturbing, the Defendant is presumed innocent and will need intense legal representation.