This report first aired on NBC, July 25, 2007. What you'll read below may be sexually explicit.
OCEAN COUNTY, N.J. — We're in Ocean County, New Jersey for our eleventh internet sex predator investigation.
Mike: You're Chris Hansen.
Hansen: I am.
Here, men will show up after making a date online, apparently hoping for sex with a young teen and knowing exactly what they’ve walked into…
Justo Benavides: This is the Dateline thing.
...seem to realize what they are doing is illegal…
Hansen: So you know what happens next.
Lubrano: Yup (hands behind back).
...and know they are likely to end up in jail. But the possibility of being caught doesn't stop them.
Eugene: I knew it. I seen this stuff on TV.
And as we told you last week, the number of men convicted in connection with these investigations is growing. So far, 118 men have either pleaded guilty or been found guilty by a judge or jury.
Judge: How do you plead?
Dateline rented this summer house on the ocean, in the off season, and hired Perverted Justice, the online watchdog group, as consultants.
Perverted Justice’s volunteers are experts at pretending to be kids online. For this investigation, they are posing as 12, 13 or 14-year-olds. The volunteers are in local chat rooms waiting to be hit on by adults interested in sex. Perverted Justice says its volunteers never contact anyone first. Once a man makes his intentions clear he is invited over to our undercover house.
Staked out in the detached garage are officers from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. They are working with Perverted Justice, ready to arrest any man who attempts to meet a minor for sex. Del from Perverted Justice hands over chat logs to the arresting officers, providing them with the evidence needed to charge a suspect with a crime.
Hansen: What were your expectations?
Mike Nevil: We wanted people to show up.
Mike Nevil, a lieutenant in the computer sex crimes unit for the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office says it was his first time working with a civilian group and he was pleasantly surprised.
Nevil: Perverted Justice did a great job in providing those leads to us, the information they provide us in the chats, everything was 100-percent accurate.
Frag from Perverted Justice is inside the house communicating with the police via a two-way radio.
Frag: That is him guys.
The house and surrounding area have been rigged with 17 hidden cameras; 11 of them are set up outside so we can spot a potential predator as soon as he arrives. The outside cameras are able to follow him as he gets out of his car, walks anywhere near the house, even if he goes to the front. Six more cameras catch his every move once he walks inside.
Mitch: This is him, this is him.
Everyone gets into position as this potential predator pulls up. Watch as he confidently approaches the house for his date with a girl who told him she was 14. Without even bothering to knock, 42-year-old Richard Burnham enters the house.
We hired 18-year-old Casey to play the part of the young teen. She's 5 feet 2 inches and weighs 95 pounds.
Decoy: I made some brownies, have a seat
Casey is posing as the 14-year-old virgin he met over the Internet. He was really talking to a decoy from Perverted Justice. While online he pretends to be two different people to try and lure the Perverted Justice decoy into having sex with him. He starts off as “uconnbluenwhite,” a 21-year-old college student named Rick. He chats about having sex with her then introduces a ‘friend,’ “stevetakespix.”
uconnbluenwhite: I have an older friend who wants a virgin lol.
uconnbluenwhite: yea bad lol
Decoy: how old is he?
“Uconnbluenwhite” continues to promote his older friend Steve.
uconnbluenwhite: yeah im really sick but Steve is a great guy I hope you like getting laid he'll do an awesome job taking your virginity hes really excited about it.
Now playing the part of the older friend. He uses the screen name “stevetakespix”:
Stevetakespix: i hear you wanna lose your virginity
Decoy: wat all did rick say?
stevetakespix: he said you were a virgin and seemed like you wanted to lose it.
The decoy agrees and “stevetakespix” goes on to use graphic and disgusting language to describe how he plans to take her virginity. Now the man with two online identities has driven three hours, all the way from Connecticut, to meet Jane the 14-year-old.
Decoy: So, do you want some brownies?
Decoy: He just passed right by the seat, kept going. So I just said, "See 'ya later," and got out of there real fast.
Casey knows she is surrounded by security personnel and she's been instructed to slip away if she ever feels uncomfortable.
Burnham: How you doing?
Chris Hansen: Good, why don't you have a seat right here. What you got in your back pocket there?
Burnham: My phone.
Chris Hansen: No, the other back pocket.
Chris Hansen: May I see it?
Chris Hansen: What is that?
Burnham: It's K-Y.
Chris Hansen: Lubricating jelly?
Chris Hansen: What were you going to use that for?
Burnham: Was, intending on being with her.
Hansen: And how old is Jane?
“Stevetakespix” says he's a freelance photographer but in his former career he was a firefighter for 22 years.
Hansen: Did you have a rank when you were a firefighter
Burnham: A captain
Hansen: A captain.
He also reveals that he is divorced and the father of two young children.
Hansen: Why'd you do it?
Burnham: Lonely and I've got no money.
Hansen: So, because you're short on cash, you decided to have a date with a 14-year-old girl.
Burnham: Because I'm lonely. 14-year-old, yeah, and doesn't make it right.
Hansen: Have you done this before?
Burnham: (Laughter) No. This is…
Hansen: Really? Because, you seem pretty skilled at it.
Remember this man telling the sad story about being lonely and broke is the same man who came up with an elaborate scheme apparently trying to entice a young girl into having sex with him.
Hansen: You started this as "Yukon Blue and White."
Burnham: Uh-huh (affirm).
Hansen: Posing as a 21 year old college student.
Hansen: Why would you do that?
Burnham: I prefer younger women in the college to out-of-college age range, and I like talking to them.
Hansen: So, now you change identities online, right? And, then you pick up the conversation. "I hear you wanna lose your virginity." "You really 35?" "I'm 37." Which is not true, because you're actually 42.
Hansen: So, there are layers of lies here.
Hansen: All intended, it would appear, to set up the sexual liaison with a 14-year-old girl. Right?
Hansen: This goes on for some 20 days by the way, that's called, "grooming."
Hansen: What do you think would have happened had there been a 14-year-old girl here home alone?
Burnham: I think it's pretty evident.
Hansen: It's pretty evident.
Hansen: Alright, well Rick, I need to tell you that I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC.
Burnham: Uh-huh (affirm).
Hansen: And, we're doing a story on adults who try to meet young teens online for sex.
Burnham: Yeah, I don't want cameras.
Hansen: You can leave right now.
Burnham: Well, I'm going be in trouble once I go.
Hansen: That's not up to me.
Hansen: You should take your jelly.
While “stevetakespix” has been inside, the police have moved into position along side the house waiting for him to walk out and arrest him.
Police: Get on the ground.
Police: You down.
Police: Get on the ground.
Police: Get down. Do not resist.
Burnham: I know.
Police: Get on the ground. Lay flat on the ground.
He's taken away in an unmarked police car and later transported to jail. He and all the other men who show up at our undercover house will be charged with solicitation of a minor.
As our investigation in New Jersey continues, you’ll met many more potential predators who stick around to answer my questions…
Male Voice: What about visiting a boy who's home alone? Does that make you nervous?
Male Voice: Well, yeah. A little bit.
As police take the former firefighter into custody, word comes over the radio that another suspect is on the way.
Mitchell: Forest green pickup right there. Everybody disappear.
Everyone tries to quickly clear the area but it's too late: the man in the pickup truck spots the police activity and takes off.
Cop: As I walked around, he looked dead at me and took off.
Howard Thornton, 27, is pulled over down the road and arrested, never getting a chance to keep his date for sex with a girl who told him she was 12.
Mitchell: I see him, I see him, right in front of the house.
Our next visitor is here for a 13-year-old and he says this isn't his first time meeting a minor.
Decoy: Come take a seat.
Meet 32-year-old James Marcott, a printing press operator.
Decoy: So what did you want to do?
Online using the screen name “jdmar74” he makes plans to meet a girl who says she's 13 and home alone. The decoy repeatedly asks him what he wants to do when he gets here. At first he's coy but finally says...
jdmar74: have you had sex before
Decoy: with my last bf
jdmar74: we would do that too
When the decoy asks him if he's ever been with someone her age he says 15 was the youngest. Now he's driven an hour-and-a-half to meet her.
Decoy: So did you bring the condoms?
Decoy: Did you?
Marcott: Yes, I did.
Decoy: Aright, cool. Remember you said about that 15-year-old you had sex with?
Marcott: Uh-huh (affirm).
Decoy: Was she a virgin?
Decoy: No she wasn't.
Then the decoy tries to find out what he has in mind for them.
Decoy: Do you want to, can you describe to me a little bit what we're going to do so I can know beforehand.
Marcott: A lot of kissing, caressing (laughs).
But a wet blanket is about to be thrown on those plans.
Chris Hansen: Hey, how are you?
Hansen: What's happening?
Hansen: You're good?
Hansen: What are you up to?
Marcott: Just sitting here relaxing.
Marcott: Relaxing, having a chat.
Hansen: Yeah? I think you already had a chat earlier today online, didn't you?
Marcott: A little bit.
The 32-year-old admits he was chatting online with a girl named Michelle.
Hansen: And how old is Michelle?
Marcott: As far as I know, she is 18.
Hansen: In her profile it said 13. She tells you right in the chat it's 13.
Hansen: Now, in the chat, you also tell her that you had sex with a 15-year-old girl.
Hansen: Yes. That's true, right?
Hansen: You just told her again right here on the beach.
Marcott: That's true. But I have not had sex with a 15-year-old.
But he does admit to chatting online with minors.
Marcott: I've chatted with a few of them. Some of them talk to me about any problems they have.
Hansen: You talk about sex with them?
Hansen: You ever go visit one of them?
Marcott: I have visited one.
Hansen: And how old was the one you visited?
Marcott: She was 16. She was in Pennsylvania.
He denies he ever had sex with her.
Hansen: Well, do you watch much TV, James?
Marcott: A little bit.
Hansen: I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC and we're doing a story called "To Catch a Predator."
Hansen: On adults who try to meet young teens online for sex.
Marcott: Uh-huh (affirm).
Hansen: Now, if there's anything you wanna tell us.
Marcott: Oh, no. That's quite aright.
As he gets up to leave, officers who've been hiding near the house move towards him and place him under arrest.
Cop: Police. Get on the ground. Get on the ground. Get on the ground.
As our investigation in Ocean County, N.J., continues, all the men who come to our undercover house are expecting to meet a young girl, except this next man. He's been chatting online with a decoy posing as a boy.
Mitchell: He's right here.
He's 46-year-old Anthony Palumbo and he's brought a gift. We've hired an 18-year-old actor to play the part of the young teen.
Decoy: Hey come on in.
Palumbo: Here's your beer. You give good directions.
Online in an AOL gay chat room calling himself “hi buddy waz sup,” he tells the decoy who's pretending to be a 14-year-old boy that he's horny. Then the 46-year-old says:
Hi buddy waz sup: I WANNA BE TOP
Decoy: oh ok
Hi buddy waz sup: U WANT DO IT RAW
Hi buddy waz sup: YES
Decoy: whats that
Hi buddy waz sup: NO RUBER
Now he's here, beer in hand, asking the decoy several times to put it in the refrigerator.
Palumbo: If you could put that in the fridge.
Decoy: Yeah. I'll put it in in a little bit.
Male Voice: All right. I'll relax.
Decoy: I'm just a little nervous, that's all.
Palumbo: I'm nervous, too. My excuse to come here, I went to Atlantic City.
Decoy: I just, I don't know what do you want to do.
Palumbo: Put that in the refrigerator. I don't know, we'll just chill out.
Decoy: That's it?
Palumbo: All right. We'll see what happens.
Decoy: I'm just-- I'm just nervous, you know.
Palumbo: That's all right. I-- you could put that in the refrigerator at any time.
Decoy: Yeah. Don't even-- don't worry about it.
Palumbo: Don't get drunk with that (laughter).
Decoy: I won't.
Palumbo: All right.
Hansen: So, why did you need the cover story to go to Atlantic City?
Palumbo: I'll see my brother.
Hansen: But who did you have to give that to as a cover story?
Palumbo: No, I, my brother is home, my other brother.
Palumbo: And I said to her, I got to go to Atlantic City.
Hansen: So instead you came here.
Palumbo: I stopped by to go there.
Hansen: So you like to gamble?
Palumbo: Yeah. I love to gamble.
Hansen: You took a little bit of a gamble coming in here tonight.
Palumbo: No, I just stopped by.
Hansen: But you said you were nervous when in. Why were you so nervous?
Palumbo: Yeah, because I was going to Atlantic City. And it was dark. And I'm not usually a driver at dark, at night time.
Hansen: So the night time makes you nervous.
Palumbo: Yeah, driving. I'm not a driver at night.
Hansen: What about visiting a boy who is home alone? Does that make you nervous?
Palumbo: Well, yeah.
Hansen: Yeah. A little bit.
Palumbo: I just wanted to say hi. It was nothing that, you know.
Hansen: Say hi and drop off a package.
Palumbo: Yeah. I had beer.
Hansen: Have you been drinking tonight?
Palumbo: No, not at all. You can smell my breath. Not at all.
Hansen: That's okay.
He tells me several times he thought the boy was 18. But in the chat log the decoy tells him two different times that's he's 14.
Hansen: How old are you?
Hansen: 39. You said you were 35 on line.
Palumbo: 35. 39.
We find out later, he's actually 46! He says he's unemployed and spends his time caring for his ailing mother. Then he tries to explain away his graphic sexual chat.
Hansen: You asked him in your chat if he was top or bottom. What does that mean?
Palumbo: Did I ask? I don't remember though.
Hansen: Are you top or bottom?
Hansen: I'm horny, you said.
Palumbo: I was just fooling around.
Hansen: Well, if you're just fooling around, why were you so concerned about knowing whether or not he was a cop?
Palumbo: Just joking.
Hansen: Just joking.
Palumbo: Uh-huh (affirmative).
Hansen: So, what made you decide to come over here and meet a teenaged boy after this sexually explicit conversation?
Palumbo: I thought, I thought it was, like I wanted to hang out with someone, like a friend. Like I thought he was like 18, something like that.
Palumbo: I'm not gay or anything. I'm just saying.
Hansen: Well, this isn't about gay or straight.
Palumbo: No, I'm just saying. I'm straight.
Hansen: Nobody cares what adults do. But when you involve somebody who's 14, that's when it becomes an issue.
Palumbo: I thought he was 18.
Hansen: How old are you, you ask. “Fourteen. I told you that already.” You say “K,” meaning okay.
Palumbo: I wasn't going to do anything.
Hansen: But why do that?
Palumbo: No, you're right. No, you're right. It's, it was stupid. It was stupid.
Hansen: No, it's an illegal thing.
Palumbo: Yeah, I know. I did a stupid thing.
Hansen: Do you ever watch much television?
Palumbo: Sometimes, once in awhile, I'm not much of a TV person
Hansen: Well, I'm Chris Hansen and I work for Dateline NBC. We're doing a story on adults who try to meet kids online.
Palumbo: Oh, boy.
Hansen: Now, if there's everything else you wanted to say to me.
Palumbo: Oh, boy. I wouldn't want to be on. Oh, boy.
Hansen: You can walk right out of the door you came in.
He quickly leaves the house and is startled by the police.
Police: Police! Get down!
Police: Let's go.
Coming up next, a man shows up in a stolen van.
Frag: He pulled off, he pulled off it looks like.
The next potential predator arriving at our house in Ocean County, N.J. is telling the truth when he says he doesn't have a car. Today, instead, he's in a catering van that police say he stole this morning.
Frag: That's our target in the white van.
He's here for sex with a 13-year-old. Casey our decoy tries to wave him in.
Frag: He did wave back to the decoy!
But he drives away.
Lieutenant Mike Nevil: Something he saw scared him and he took off. He was traveling the wrong way on a one-way and riding on the shoulder trying to get away.
But he doesn't get far. Police arrest 32-year-old Savio Noronha down the road.
Lieutenant Mike Nevil of the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office gets a call the next day from a New York City Police Officer about the van Noronha was driving.
Nevil: They had a stolen report on that particular vehicle. And it turns out that he, I don't know if it was a former employer, but he had access to the vehicle keys and took the vehicle for himself to come down here and meet the child.
Our investigation in the Garden State is turning out to be a busy one. We're about to have two men in the house at the same time.
Frag: We have a lot of guys that should be here or very soon.
Here comes 29-year-old Jeremy Keister. He's driven an-hour-and-forty minutes to get here. Casey our decoy waves him in.
Decoy: He pulled up. His lights turned off. So I figured he was getting out. And then his lights turned back on, so I wasn't sure if he was going to leave or not. Then he came around the corner.
He sets his car alarm and then heads straight for the side door.
Decoy: How's your drive?
Keister: It was all right.
Decoy: Oh, that's good. That's pretty far you came, huh.
Keister: It was.
Online using his own name as his screen name, “jeremykeister” makes a date for sex with a girl he thinks is 13. He clearly admits he knows what he's doing is wrong.
jeremykeister: so u want to have sex
jeremykeister: only if u do
jeremykeister: I do not force that
Decoy: u dont seem like u would
jeremykeister: is wrong enough for me to have sex with a 13 year old
Casey: He was nervous that something was going on. Because when he walked in the house, he walked in and froze. He stood there. He wouldn't go any further.
Decoy: I made you some brownies. You want some?
Decoy: Are you sure?
Decoy: Why not?
Keister: I don't think I should be here.
Decoy: Why, no one's home with me?
Keister: What's that?
Chris Hansen: Would you come over here for a minute? I'd like to talk and do me a favor, take your hands out of your pockets.
Hansen: Come on over and have a seat. Long ride, huh?
Keister: Yes, it was.
Hansen: Please, sit down. What was your plan tonight?
Keister: Nothing. Just to hang out.
Hansen: Hang out with who?
Keister: Just a nice girl.
Hansen: And how old is that nice girl?
Keister: She's 13.
Keister, 29, tells me he's a luxury car salesman then as I start to read some of his chat log he suddenly interrupts me.
Hansen: Too bad you're not older. Not legal for being with a guy.
Keister: Uh-huh (affirm).You don't have to tell me. I know who you are, so…
Hansen: You know who I am?
Hansen: Who am I?
Keister: You should be Chris Hansen.
Hansen: I am. So you've seen the show before?
Keister: I have seen your show.
Hansen: So even after seeing the show, you still chose to come over here.
Keister: I did.
Hansen: And what were you expecting here tonight?
Keister: Just to, no, really, just chat
Hansen: Did you think at all that maybe you're walking into a “To Catch a Predator” investigation?
Keister: I was very hesitant on things, yes.
But he didn't seem hesitant when he was chatting online with a girl posing as a 13-year-old.
Hansen: You asked her if she had sex with her old boyfriend. 'Did it hurt?'
Keister: Uh-huh (affirm).
Hansen: 'Did you bleed?'
Keister: Uh-huh (affirm). Uh-huh (affirm).
Hansen: What is your bra size?
Keister: Uh-huh (affirm).
While Keister has been answering questions inside, we get word that another man is only blocks away.
Matt: Red Nissan pickup truck, heading north to our location.
Casey gets ready to wave him in. He's 43-year-old Michael Murray. Online he sent naked pictures of himself to a girl posing as a 13-year-old. Later he asks the decoy if she wants to have sex with him, but he wants it to be her decision.
Casey: Frag gives the okay, "Come let him in."
Casey: He had his McDonald's bag. He was all excited. Came walking in.
Hansen: Hey, why don't you come in over here? We're having a little conversation. Please join us.
Murray: What did I do wrong?
Hansen: Just come here. We'll chat for a minute. Come on in.
Murray: No, I'm leaving. Alright.
Hansen: I'd like to talk to you.
Murray: About what?
Hansen: About a couple things.
Murray: I'm leaving. I'm sorry. I didn't know what was going on.
Hansen: Why don't you explain that to me?
After the 43-year-old makes a quick exit, police arrest him and try to keep him quiet but Michael Murray cannot seem to stop crying.
Back inside Keister knows what has just happened outside, and is getting worried.
Keister: I know what's in store for me outside that door, correct?
Hansen: Well, that's not up to me.
Keister: Well, I've seen the show.
Hansen: You know, obviously, who I am.
Keister: I do.
Hansen: Chris Hansen.
Keister: Uh-huh (affirm).
Hansen: Dateline NBC.
Keister: I do.
As Keister prepares to leave, he seems to find one thing good about his predicament.
Keister: It's nice to meet you.
Hansen: Thank you (laughter).
He gets up and heads out the door, right into the arms of police waiting outside.
Police: Police. Get down. Get down.
Police: Get down on the ground.
Police: Down on the ground. Don't resist, put your hands on your back.
Stay tuned as the parade of potential predators continues from men in their early 20's...
Donnelly: Now I am gonna be branded as a loser for the rest of my life.
…to this man in his golden years.
Hansen: What's a 60-year-old guy doing this?
Terry Warner: It's to some extent entertainment.
Warner: Sexual entertainment.
John Donnelly, 21, is here after chatting online with a girl who told him she was 14. Just a few minutes into the chat “ikeman_04” tells her he's really horny and he continues.
ikeman_04: we could have lots of fdun if i could come to your house to see u
Decoy: doing wat
ikeman_04: kissing sucking each other, touvhing each other
ikeman_04: having sex if u wanted
Decoy: i never went all the way yet
ikeman_04: i would be sweet to u
ikeman_04: u r the perfect girl
Perfect, except that she's making it clear she's a minor. So he should know he has no business being here, but that doesn't stop him.
Donnelly: I've never met anybody younger than like 18. So, that shit just worried me and shit. That's all.
Decoy: I understand that's okay.
Donnelly: I just didn't know. I had just been worried, that's all, that some, this was some crazy scheme.
Decoy: What do you mean?
Donnelly: But like there's a show, The Daily Show, like they make fun of the news but it really is the news. And I was reading about him that, like, they pay, they pay for like cops to like pretend they're like girls and shit like that. And--
Decoy: Are you serious?
Donnelly: Yeah. Yeah, so I mean, I usually don't worry about (laughter) but it was just like so awkward. But I guess everything's cool. I don't know so.
But as he's about to find out everything isn't cool.
Chris Hansen: How's it going?
Donnelly: Pretty good. How you doing?
Hansen: Good. How are you?
Donnelly: I'm alright.
Hansen: What's happening? What are you up to?
Donnelly: I was just coming to meet this person.
Hansen: Really? And who's that person?
Donnelly: S---, man. I wasn't gonna-
Hansen: Who'd you come to meet?
Donnelly: I wasn't gonna do anything guys, I promise, please. F---! I just came to visit this girl. F---, dude. I knew this was a setup. I didn't even wanna do anything with this girl.
Hansen: Well, I, that's not what it said
Donnelly: I know, I know, because I was trying to impress the girl, so…
Hansen: You were trying a 14-year-old girl?
Donnelly: I don't know what I was thinking, sir.
Hansen: I'll tell you what you were thinking. You were thinking of having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Donnelly: I swear to God, I wasn't. Please, officer. Please.
He seems to think I’m with law enforcement, he'll learn soon enough that I’m not a cop.
Hansen: You even ask in your (unintelligible), you say, "You're not a cop or something, are you?"
Donnelly: Because I was so worried about all this. Dammit, I don't…
Hansen: Well, why were, if you're so worried, why'd you do it?
Donnelly: Because I, I've been, I've just been really depressed lately. I don't know what I was thinking, sir. I know I said all that stupid s--- about having sex and stuff like that. I've only had sex with one girl in my life. I do not; I wouldn't have felt comfortable doing that. Every day I can't sleep because I've been thinking, this is stupid, John. Do you know how much trouble is, why would you sleep with a 14-year-old girl? And that's why I never wanted to. It's disgusting.
Hansen: I know. But that doesn't square with what you said and what you did.
Donnelly: I do not wanna be ruined for my, I wanted to go to college and everything.
Donnelly: I wanna go for sports broadcasting, or journalism. I mean, this is not…
Hansen: So, you wanna be a television reporter.
Hansen: Have you ever been on TV before?
Hansen: Well, this is one of those good news/bad news situations, John. I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC. And we're doing one of our "To Catch a Predator…”
Donnelly: Please tell me you're not…
Donnelly: I would never do anything like this.
Hansen: Well, who do you blame then?
Donnelly: Myself for being so stupid.
I make several attempts to get the man to leave…
Hansen: So, like I said, you're welcome to leave.
…but he won’t budge.
Donnelly: No point, there's no point of going anywhere. I just, this was the stupidest mistake I've ever made in my life.
Finally after much prompting he gets up and starts to leave the beach, only to be stopped in his tracks by police from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, and he seems to know what to do.
As our investigation continues, men arrive loaded with gifts.
Frag: “Shinster” should have strawberries, whipped cream and other surprises.
During our investigations we find potential predators can be pretty generous.
Tom Shin: Hey!
Decoy: How are you?
This man is a regular Santa Claus.
Decoy: What'd you bring me?
Shin: Well, I got the strawberries.
Decoy: Oh, perfect.
Shin: Yeah, and here's a surprise.
Decoy: A surprise?
Shin: Uh-huh (affirm, laughter).
Decoy: Aw, thanks.
Shin: Hope you like koala bears.
Decoy: Yeah, thank you (laughter).
He's 36-year-old Thomas Shin, here to meet the 12-year-old girl he was chatting with online. It was really a decoy from Perverted Justice.
Decoy: He wanted to give me a high five. So I kind of completely dissed him. (chuckle) He was like, "Oh. Okay, maybe not." (chuckle)
Using the screen name “shinster007” he talks about kissing her passionately, and guess what that might lead to?
shinster007: …kiss you down your neck, ubdress you and caress your sweet breasts and kiss them too
Decoy: awww really?
shinster007: I'd get undressed too
And he's got more surprises for our decoy.
Shin: And I brought a DVD because there's, like, some singers on here that I think you might like.
Decoy: Oh, cool.
But there was something he didn't bring, he says he will on his next visit.
Decoy: Did you bring any condoms or anything?
Shin: I was thinking like, you know, today was definitely like kind of get to know each other a little bit more and then definitely next time I could bring them.
Decoy: Oh, okay.
Decoy: I wasn't sure you know. All right, well I'm going to go get myself something to drink. I'll be right back, ok?
Shin: Okay, all right.
Chris Hansen: Some strawberries and whipped cream and chocolates and stuffed animals? Boy, you got it all going on, don't you?
Shin: Oh, wow.
Hansen: Why don't you have a seat right over there, please.
He says he's a court administrator for the state of New Jersey.
Hansen: And how old are you?
Shin: I mean, I'm 24.
Hansen: Twenty-four. Are you sure about that?
Shin: Yes, you're probably going to check my ID, right?
Shin: I'm 36, sir.
Hansen: Thirty-six. Okay. And how old is the girl you came to visit?
Shin: She said she was 12.
Hansen: Young enough to be your daughter.
Hansen: Why are you even talking to a 12-year-old anyway?
Shin: I'm a very lonely guy.
Hansen: You're a lonely guy.
Shin: Yeah, I'm sorry.
Hansen: There's no people your age.
Shin: I tried different personals sites, and it's just like they never, they think I'm too short or they think, like, an Asian guy is just going to be, like a nerd or a geek.
Hansen: So you figured you'd try another category?
Shin: Well if…
Hansen: The 12-year-old category?
Hansen: Now what was your plan for the strawberries and whipped cream?
Shin: I guess in a flirtatious way to…
Hansen: A flirtatious way?
Shin: …maybe have a piece of strawberry in my mouth, and then she'd…
Hansen: And have her to do what?
Shin: …bite, bite off it or something…
Hansen: Bite off of it.
Hansen: So you were going to kind of make out using the strawberries and the whipped cream.
Hansen: With a 12-year-old girl.
Shin: Uh-huh (affirm).
Hansen: That was your plan right?
Shin: Uh- huh.
He admits he thought it was strange chatting online with a girl so young that's why he says he asked her if she'd ever seen the Dateline show.
Shin: But like I told her, I, I wasn't planning on any sex. That's why I didn't bring any condoms.
Hansen: Well not, not this visit.
Hansen: But what if I hadn't been here and the 12-year-old girl was here and you got along and you, you ate the strawberries and sprayed whipped cream on each other and, you know, some clothes came off? What do you think would've happened?
Shin: Well to be honest, I mean not that it's right. I would've just made out and…
Hansen: Just made out.
Shin: …and told her, like…
Hansen: We'll have to wait till next time when I have condoms.
Hansen: Well you've seen the show, so you know that I'm Chris Hansen.
Hansen: Right, with Dateline NBC.
Hansen: And if there's anything else you'd like to tell us now would be a good time. If not, you know, you can take your stuff and go run out the door you came in.
And just as he's seen it happen on TV, when he leaves the house and goes out the front door, police are waiting.
Police: Police, hands up.
And there are more men on their way bearing gifts.
Mitchell: That's him, that's him.
Frag: He's parking. She waved, and he's gonna park it looks like.
You're about to meet our oldest visitor, a 60-year-old engineer for a major phone company.
Casey: We had like a five minute back and forth, "No you come," "No, you come." And then I got him halfway up the hill, and I was like, "Oh, look at the fish."
He's been chatting online with a girl posing as a 13-year-old. Using the screen name “nj_dom_4_f,” he wastes no time bringing up sex and later gets more specific.
nj_dom_4_f: want me to get between your legs now
nj_dom_4_f: and kiss u as u feel me on top of u
nj_dom_4_f: and I take your hand and wrap it around my c---
He also tells her he'll bring a webcam, candles, a bra and a thong.
After weeks of describing online the different sex acts he wants to perform on the decoy, “nj_dom_4_f” suddenly says he needs to talk to his lawyer. Just as he's about to leave to meet her he tells the decoy according to his lawyer they can't do anything.
Decoy: Come, sit. They're people just come on the beach. It's fine.
Terry Warner: No, I got to, I got to go.
Decoy: Come on.
Warner: I got to go.
Decoy: It's okay. People walk on the beach all the time. Because it's nice out.
Hansen: How are you?
Hansen: Talk to you for a minute. Give me, take, take your hands out of your pockets.
Hansen: What are you up to tonight?
Warner: Nothing. I was, I was not doing a thing.
Hansen: Not doing a thing.
Chris Hansen: Now, I've read your chat log.
Warner: I know. We-- I went overboard on that. And--
Chris Hansen: Overboard.
Warner: Yeah. And I told her I can't do anything. And I did something wrong. And I admit it. And I checked into it. I can't-- can't do anything with her. I-- I told her that I wouldn't--
Chris Hansen: What do you mean you checked into it?
Warner: I talked to a friend. A lawyer.
Chris Hansen: Oh, you talked to a lawyer.
Warner: Yeah. I--I'm not going to get in trouble with-- with any young girl.
Chris Hansen: You're not? You talk in great and graphic--
Chris Hansen: Detail about being naked together. About performing specific sex acts on her.
Warner: Yeah. And I know that was-- was wrong. And I told her I can't-- I can't do it. I can be her friend. Her dad. If it looks like--
Chris Hansen: It's a little creepy, I’ve got to tell you.
Warner: Well, but-- but her da-- she kept on saying her dad sucks.
Chris Hansen: So that makes it okay for you to say--
Warner: Well, I--
Chris Hansen: "I want you to be my girlfriend first. We can have sex. And then I'll be your dad? I'll take you out shopping." Well, here's what it sounds like.
Chris Hansen: Here's what it sounds like. It sounds like her were grooming-- a young teenage girl. Into a relationship that will become sexual.
Warner: Right … and I can see how you said that.
Chris Hansen: I mean, this is not a short chat, by the way.
Warner: I know.
Chris Hansen: This goes on for days.
Warner: About a month we've been chatting.
Chris Hansen: What's a 60-year-old guy doing this?
Warner: It's ener-- to some extent entertainment.
Chris Hansen: Entertainment.
Warner: Sex-- sexual entertainment.
Chris Hansen: Do you see how you crossed the line from fantasy to reality? When you got in your car and drove her to meet this girl?
Warner: No. because I was not going to do anything. I was going-- I-- I was going to be a friend. And that was--
Chris Hansen: A friend. A 60-year-old man was going to be a friend. After saying ‘I'm hard.’ And can—
Chris Hansen: ‘Can-- do you want to feel me between your legs.’ What-- what kind of a friend is that?
Warner: Well, a friend that wasn't going to do anything--
Chris Hansen: ...a grooming predator kind-of-friend. Did you bring condoms?
Warner: No. absolutely not. Check me out.
But he does admit to bringing a lot of other things.
Chris Hansen: You brought a webcam.
Chris Hansen: And what else is in the car?
Warner: I-- I got the candles that I said I was going to--
Chris Hansen: Candles.
Warner: … and-- and I got the-- the bra that she wanted.
Chris Hansen: A bra.
Warner: Right. I know it looks bad, but-- you know--
Chris Hansen: Looks bad? It is bad. (laughter)
Hansen: What does that say about what you intended to do?
Chris Hansen: Well, what do you think ought to happen to you?
Warner: I think I've learned a lot right now.
Chris Hansen: You learned a lot, really? Well, there's something you have to know. And that is I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC. And we're doing a story on adults who try to meet kids on the Internet for sex. Now, if there's anything else you want to tell us, we'd like to hear it. If not--
He's completely unaware that police have been waiting along side the house ready to arrest him.
Police: Police. Get on the ground. Get on the ground. Get on the ground. Get down. Get on the ground.
And when we come back -- a man with a dark past rides hours to meet a young girl home alone.
Chris Hansen: There was a sexual act between you and 14 year old girl?
For three-and-a-half days men have been showing up at our beach house at the Jersey Shore...
Cops: Get down! Get down on the ground!
And one after the other they've been arrested by officers from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.
Tom Kelaher: There seems to be a compulsion with these folks and I don't think that they improve with age.
Tom Kelaher is the Ocean County Prosecutor. He says these men won't get off easy.
Tom Kelaher: They've been charged with two second-degree crimes:luring and attempted sexual assault. Which makes them eligible for anywhere from five to ten years in prison. But, they're also gonna be classified as Megan's offenders so that they will be under lifetime supervision. And that's because of the likelihood that they would re-offend.
Which leads us to our next visitor. We know before he ever drives up to the house that 36-year-old Todd Lewis is a registered sex offender. He's driven six hours from Pennsylvania.
Todd Lewis: Wow, this place is beautiful.
Female voice: Come on in. Thanks. How was your trip?
Todd Lewis: Oh, it wasn't bad.
Female voice: No? I've always wanted to go on a motorcycle. (laughter)
Todd Lewis: I was thinking about that.
Female voice: Were you?
Todd Lewis: Yeah. Wow. (laughter)
He's been chatting with a decoy posing as a 14-year-old. Calling himself “ps3player178” he tells the girl he'd love it if she gave him oral sex because his girlfriend never did it. And in return he offers to "treat her."
ps3player178: if i would use my fingers and tongue......would be just like sex
ps3player178: but softer
Decoy: mite b cool
He later makes a startling admission -- he tells the decoy he's been caught before meeting a minor for sex.
ps3player178:she was 14 and she wanted to meet for sex
ps3player178: i got in a lot of trouble
ps3player178: im on probation now
But he keeps on chatting for five more days. Now he seems to think that he's finally met the 14-year-old in person.
Todd Lewis: I wasn't sure what you liked so I got you M&Ms and Hershey.
Female voice: Oh, nice. Thanks. (laughter) Do you want me to go get you some milk for your brownies?
Todd Lewis: That will be good.
Female voice: Okay, I'll be right back.
Todd Lewis: Are you always so polite?
Female voice: Yeah. (laughter)
Chris Hansen: How's it taste?
Todd Lewis: Good.
Chris Hansen: Why don't you have a seat right over there please.
Chris Hansen: Now what were you doing coming here Todd?
Todd Lewis: I-- just-- I was just taking the weekend off that's all … Who am I taking to? Can I at least ask you that?
Chris Hansen: Well, I'll get to that in just a minute.
Chris Hansen: Now you've been down this path before, right?
Todd Lewis: Yes.
Chris Hansen: Okay. And tell me about that case.
Todd Lewis: No, I won't.
Chris Hansen: I've got the picture right here of you from the Megan's Law website. That's you right?
Todd Lewis: Yes.
Chris Hansen: Uh-huh (affirm). What were you convicted of? It says sexual assault here.
Todd Lewis: Correct.
In 2003 he pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl who he had met online. The victim said he took her into the woods, engaged in kissing and she performed oral sex on him.
Chris Hansen: And the -- the girl in that case was how old?
Todd Lewis: Fourteen.
Chris Hansen: Same age as this girl tonight.
Chris Hansen: "I got in a trouble. I'm on probation now." As you sit on that stool, right now, you're on probation.
Todd Lewis: Correct.
Chris Hansen: ...for having sex with a 14-year-old girl?
Todd Lewis: No.
Chris Hansen: For doing something with a 14-year-old girl.
Todd Lewis: You could say that.
He tells me several times he won't answer my questions until I tell him who I am. Well he's about to find out.
Chris Hansen: You tell her, "You should chat with guys closer to your age."
Todd Lewis: Please. You know, unless you got cameras running here there's no reason for this little hysterics.
Chris Hansen: Do you ever watch television?
Todd Lewis: Yes, I do.
Chris Hansen: Do you ever watch Dateline NBC?
Todd Lewis: No. Never.
Chris Hansen: We have a show called "To Catch a Predator."
Todd Lewis: Right.
Chris Hansen: And you're on it right now.
Todd Lewis: (Unintelligible) This funny thing is I had a feeling … There's -- something was up.
Chris Hansen: So, you had doubts. You'd been in trouble before. You knew it was wrong. Yet you got on a motorcycle and drove six hours from Pennsylvania to get here to meet a 14-year-old girl anyway.
Todd Lewis: I was coming just for something to do.
Chris Hansen: There was nothing to do with people your own age in Pennsylvania?
Todd Lewis: I'm not allowed to go to bars. You know, stuff like that. That's what everyone my age wants to do.
Chris Hansen: Right. But you're also not allowed to go meet 14-year-old girls for sex, by the way, whether you're on probation or not.
Todd Lewis: Correct. That is a true fact.
Chris Hansen: Well, there's something I need to tell you. And that is I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC and as I mentioned before, we're doing a story about adults who try to meet young teens online for sex.
He gathers up his belongings unaware, as he heads to the door, that his troubles have only just begun. This registered sex offender is about to get arrested again.
Cops: Police! Get down, get down! Down.
And there's one more potential predator we'd like you to meet. That's 37-year-old Kazuo Akutsu knocking on our door.
Female voice: (Knocking) Hey.
Kazuo Akutsu: Hey. How are you?
Female voice: I'm glad you made it.
Kazuo Akutsu: Yeah, I know.
He's been chatting online for more than a week with a decoy posing as a 14-year-old. Using the screen name “kaz4541” he asks the girl about having sex on the beach then says he's not into that -- he wants a nice comfortable bed. He also has a birthday wish: to have sex with the decoy.
Female voice: Do you want some brownies?
Kazuo Akutsu: None for now.
Decoy: He smelled like he was smoking in the car beforehand, and -- hadn't showered in a couple of days.
Female voice: You didn't bring me any chocolate?
Kazuo Akutsu: No. You know why?
Female voice: Why?
Kazuo Akutsu: Because -- (coughing) I didn't want her to find it.
Female voice: What do you mean?
Kazuo Akutsu: You know, the wrapping and everything.
Female voice: I would've thrown it away.
Chris Hansen: So, explain again why no chocolates?
Kazuo Akutsu: I just didn't bring it.
Chris Hansen: So, what's your plan here tonight?
Kazuo Akutsu: Well, I was gonna just see her.
He admits "her" is a 14-year-old girl named Sandy who he met online. He says he's 37 and works for a major department store in New York City.
Chris Hansen: So, you just decided today after work that you were going to jump in the car to meet a 14-year-old girl named Sandy.
Kazuo Akutsu: Yeah, that's it. (laughter)
Chris Hansen: That's it?
Kazuo Akutsu: That's it.
Chris Hansen: You thought it was appropriate at the age of 37 to come meet a 14-year-old. Why? Explain it to me.
Kazuo Akutsu: I didn't think it was app-- appropriate but--
Chris Hansen: Your chat was pretty darn explicit with her.
Kazuo Akutsu: Yeah.
Chris Hansen: And you acknowledge in the chat that age thing could be a problem. "Sandy, I am more than twice your age."
Kazuo Akutsu: Uh-huh (affirm). I know what I did. What am I going to do now?
Then kaz4541 says he's feeling ill.
Chris Hansen: You talk about her having a hard time enjoying sex, because she's a virgin and that it might hurt.
Kazuo Akutsu: Right. (Whispers) Can I please go to the bathroom, please?
Chris Hansen: You can go if you'd like to but I -- I think I need to tell you something first. And that's I'm Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC. And we're doing a story on adults who try to meet kids online for sex. Now, if there's anything else you want to say, we'd like to hear it. If not, you can obviously walk out the door you came in.
(off-mic conversation after Kazuo Akutsu faints)
We call for an EMT, who comes in and examines him. It turns out to be nothing serious.
Male voice: Yeah, he's clammy. He's definitely-- come on, let's get up to your feet. Let me see your head. You're alright?
He's escorted out of the house and is later arrested. Lt. Nevil says he recovered pretty quickly.
Mike Nevil: Brought him back to the police department. Had a medic at the police department that monitored his blood pressure and heart rate and pulse. Or-- and pretty much was cleared to go back to the jail.
Later he goes before a judge and his bail is set.
Judge: Your bail is set at $50,000. There's no 10 percent eligibility.
As the operation wraps up, there are a total of 28 men who've been arrested and charged with a felony. So far two have been indicted. Most of the men have not had a chance to make a plea. All the others have pleaded not guilty.
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