Posted at: 11/01/2013 5:42 PM
By: Jenna Lohse
Online Predators Using New Social Networks
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- From peer pressure to bullying -- social networks are the new playground for kids. It's also an arena child predators know far better than most parents and Facebook and Twitter are no longer the place you need to look out for.
"It’s very scary as a mom of a teenage daughter,” said Kim Norton of St. Charles.
Kim Norton is the mom of a 15 year old girl and she does everything she can to keep her safe. Which, in this day in age means monitoring her social networking activity.
"We communicate very openly with Cass about just the dangers that are out there,” said Norton.
One danger being online predators targeting teenagers through social networking sites.
"A lot of the girls I work with don't even use Facebook anymore as their main social networking site and every single week it seems like I hear about a new website that they're on,” said Stephanie Holt with Mission 21 in Rochester.
Stephanie Holt with Mission 21 in Rochester says secondary social networks would be a good place for sexual predators to hang out. "Not a lot of people are monitoring them,” she said.
Rochester Police have started monitoring them and made its first arrest using tagged.com. They posed as a 15-year-old girl and were immediately approached by 43-year-old Anthony King of Rochester.
Within a week he was sending sexual text messages and nude photos. Police arrested him after setting up a meeting, charging him with three felonies.
"Law enforcement is saying you know this is happening and we're doing something about it and it's going to make a huge difference I think in our city of Rochester,” said Holt.
Like most parents, Norton is happy to see police involvement in these online dangers.
"As a parent I think it's a lot more challenging today to try to keep your child safe just because there are so many different outlets that we as kids didn't have,” said Norton.
This was the first time Rochester Police have done an investigation of this nature. They say they are only scratching the surface of the issue with online predators.