Catching perverts: My online quest

Nick Kanios

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“Dateline NBC” catches perverts on the Internet every week, and I watch completely captivated. This show has been so successful that I decided to do what any good journalist would: rip it off. Two things peaked my curiosity how perverted are the perverts here in San Diego, and could I trick them to meet me at a park by my apartment, of course posing as a 13-year-old girl.

This plan was going to take careful preparation and execution, so first-thing-first; I got my computer fixed at Best Buy. It turned to be a very costly measure, but that’s the price you pay for journalistic gold.

A few days and $200 later I had my computer ready and willing to go. The plan: Create a fake screen name, wait for old guys to come to me.

Creating the hypothetical teen was the fun part. I chose the screen name “sdgurlofurdreamz” and created a profile, all in pink lettering with purple background. Meet Heather. Heather is 13, currently in the seventh grade, can’t wait until high school, and spends most of her free time with her two best friends Ashley and Lindsay, best friends forever!

Heather’s profile didn’t have a hint of sexuality nor any reference to drugs or alcohol. She didn’t even have a picture on her profile yet. One thing she did add was that she liked older guys. But what teenage girl doesn’t? To Heather older means 15-16, which is pretty common these days.

All right, the profile was up, but I still needed a picture of a young teenage girl (certainly the weirdest request I ever made on a MySpace bulletin) so I decided to set up an away message and head off to bed. When I awoke, Heather had a message from “gamaxx001.”

“Hey this is Jeff, viperxx001.”

Now I have no idea who “viperxx001” is, this screen name has existed less than 24 hours and Heather is a figment of my imagination.

“Do you remember me?” was the next message I received from him. Either Jeff is delusional, not very bright, or this is just his pick up line. Most of my female friends believe the latter. I decide to play along.

“Did we talk on another screen sn (screen name)?” I sent. “I just got this one.”

He then tells me that we had spoken before on his other screen name “viperxx001,” and that he’s sent me pictures.

I ask him how old he is, he tells me 18.

Bingo.

I would have loved to stay and chat, but I had class to go to. I asked him if we could talk later. He assured me that we could and that he would resend his pics in order to jog my memory.

The next evening Heather didn’t have much free time because of a combination of school and the NBA playoffs, so Jeff had to wait. The following evening he got his girl.

I was away, but he IMid me at 6:17 p.m. telling me he was going to send me his pictures. When I got to my computer screen after 7, he informed it was waiting for me. As I clicked open the e-mail I thanked him while I waited for the picture to load. It was of a young man with dark hair and olive skin; he was wearing a tank top.

I see where this could be going, so I wanted to give Jeff another out.

“So you don’t care that I’m 13?” I ask him. He answers me with another question.

“Are you shy?”

Now here was a delicate balance, I needed to portray a young innocent while at the same time not scare away my perv with prudeness.

“Um, I dunno, I try not be! LoL” I reply.

“Ok, cool,” he slyly responds. He then comes back to the picture.

“Did you get it?” He asks.

“Yeah, your cute!” I lied.

“I got another pic,” he says. “I’m kinda nude tho. Wanna c?”

Well, you don’t become a journalist if you can’t stand disturbing images.

“Um, ok lol.”

Jeff delivers what he promises. The next picture he e-mails me are of the same guy, tank top removed, as his pants and any underwear he may have been wearing. He held his penis in his hand at the head, hiding it from view. I compliment his body and he sends me another nude, similar to the first, this time exposing his penis.

He in turn asks me if I have a picture. Since I don’t I explain to him how I look; 5’2″, blonde, blue eyes, 105 pounds. I ask him if there is anything else about me he wants to know.

I’m expecting him to ask about my boob size, but Jeff dives right in.

“Are you a virgin?” he asks. When I tell him yes he seems disappointed. He then asks if I like talking to older guys and if I liked his pictures. I lied and said I did.

“Did they get you horny at all? Did u get a little warm between ur legs?” he asks. I shyly tiptoe around the subject. I go on to feign interest in him, but doubt he would be into me because of the age.

“If your hot I would,” Jeff assures me.

What a guy.

He goes on to tell me that older guys like certain things though, things like sex. I asked him what the youngest girl he’s had sex with has been. He tells me 14.

“U would be my first 13 yr old.”

He sends me another picture of the same man. This time it is x-rated.

“If that didn’t get u all warm between ur legs,” he tells me. “Nothing will.” I guess I’ll never know the sensation.

He then asks me if I’ve ever heard a hot got jack off on the phone before.

Check please.

I tell Jeff I need to eat dinner, and that I’ll talk to him later, but I never do.

I contemplate whether I should try to get a phone conversation with Jeff or stage any meetings. A few nights later I was watching an episode of “Close to Home” in which (no joke) a reporter went undercover writing an article about predators online, and got killed.

Check please.

Since Heather has an AOL screen name, I contact AOL about what had happened. I explained that I pretended to be a 13-yea- old girl and Jeff solicited me for sex (which is illegal if Jeff is in fact an adult).

AOL responded with an automated response. Since Jeff was using an AIM screen name, not an AOL screen name, AOL didn’t consider him apart of their “Terms of Service.” They suggested I block his messages, and that if I’m being harassed or physically threatened offline (such as telephone, postal service or in person) I should contact the police.

Thanks AOL.

Here is Heather, she’s 13 and has her first screen name for less than a day before meeting Jeff. She’s online three days and gets her first sexual solicitation. She doesn’t even have a picture.

Thanks again AOL, thanks again.

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Catching perverts: My online quest