Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Story from Q13 Fox
A cellphone app led to the sexual assault of a 12 year old Lake Forest Park girl
“Every single day a new app comes out on a phone and as parents we really need to be involved,” Lake Forest Park Police Chief Stephen Sutton said. “That was the cause of this.”
Adults may not have heard of many of the apps, but teens are increasingly using sites and apps like Ask.fm, Spraffl or Whisper, where they can remain anonymous and post secrets about themselves.
“Facebook is barely used anymore,” Leen, a junior at Shorecrest High School, said. “Because when you say something, you actually know who’s saying it.”
In the case of the 12-year-old, police said she was communicating with 21-year-old Ron Peterson via the app, Whisper. The app allows users to reveal secrets while staying secret, but there is also the option to see if other users are nearby and chat with them. In their conversations, the girl lied to Peterson and told him she was older.
Peterson told detectives he found the girl on the app, and eventually convinced her to climb out of her window at home and take off with him. He took her to a nearby motel where he told police he had sex with her.