NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One late December morning before school, a 14-year-old girl was on the website http://www.teenchat.com.
According to a Metro Police search warrant, someone told the teen through the website that he had her personal information including her name, email and address. He told the girl that he would post the information online if she didn’t send a nude video of herself.
The document reads that once the girl got to her high school, she went into a bathroom stall and sent several nude videos of herself to the suspect. He then told the victim he took screen shots and threatened to put them online unless she sent more videos.
“The more they send or more they comply the more the person on the other end demands,” says Metro Assistant District Attorney Tammy Meade. She says she’s prosecuting more of these cases every day.
She urges parents to talk to their children about what to do if someone approaches them online and threatens them.
“Kids are afraid to go to their parents or a trusted adult because they’re afraid they’re going to get in trouble,” she said. “You have pictures of these young girls who gave them only because they were scared of what might happen. Now, they’re traveling all over the world on the internet and that’s what’s happened in this case.”
Metro Police are still looking for the suspect who Meade says most likely doesn’t live here and is most likely not a teenager.
“I’m very confident that Metro Police will find this person and we will be prosecuting once this person is found,” she said.
So how do police find a person when all they have is their email address?
Metro Police will serve a search warrant to Google, Facebook or any other website through which a suspect has contacted a minor.
In this case, Metro Police asked Google for the person’s information and geographic location associated with the suspect’s email address.
Meade says companies are very cooperative and will usually return the information within a week or two, even though they receive similar requests from almost every jurisdiction across the United States.
“They get these requests all the time,” said Meade. “The old-fashioned search warrants for houses and storage bins still go on every day but this is an added layer to investigation that happens every day and a new one police have to keep up with.”
News 2 is not revealing the victim’s name or any identifying information about where she goes to school to respect her privacy. Meade also asked that we not reveal the suspect’s email address since police are still trying to find him. We will follow this story and will update you when an arrest is made.