Even when men know it’s against the law, know there’s a chance they’ll be apprehended, men still show up at a house where they were told a child is home alone and willing to have sex with them.
And the number of men who continue to arrive at the door during each undercover operation is alarming—like our latest investigation (the sixth one), this time in Harris county, Georgia.
We’ve rigged this house with 12 hidden cameras— five inside and seven outside. From a control room inside the house a crew operates the cameras and records a man’s every move from the moment he drives up to the house. We’ve hired a young-looking 19-year-old to be play the part of a young girl—a decoy who will invite the men in.
Meet 24-year-old Reymundo Anguiano. He thinks he’s here to see a 14-year-old girl named Diane. He met her online just hours ago in an AOL chat room.
To give you an idea why he might be here, take a look at what he said online. Using the screen name truesweetguy69, he asks a decoy—an adult pretending to be 14 -- if she’s good at giving oral sex. The decoy says “nobody ever complained, didn’t do it lots but i know how to do it.” Then truesweetguy69 asks if he shows the girl a picture of his penis would she give him oral sex. The decoy, who he thinks is 14 says “oh yeah.” And sure enough, truesweetguy69 sends her a picture of his genitals.
Chris Hansen (walks out, on hidden camera): How you doing? Why don’t you have a seat right over there. Reymundo Anguiano: Okay.Hansen: what are you doin here? Anguiano: we were just talkin on line, I just wanted to come and meet herHansen: And who were you talking on line with Anguiano: The young lady right there sir Hansen: the young lady? Anguiano: Yes sir
He was really talking online with a different decoy,a member of the online watchdog group, Perverted-Justice, which Dateline hired to do what they normally do—go into chat rooms, and set up computer profiles, pretending to be young teens who are interested in sex. And sometimes, as in the case of truesweetguy69, the decoy says she is sexually experienced.
Hansen: And how old is that young lady?Anguiano: She said she was 14 sirHansen: 14, and how old are you? Anguiano: (sighs) 24 sirHansen: 24, And you thought that was appropriate why? Anguiano: Well I don’t know sir, I mean, I just thought it was all right Then I ask him about that picture of his genitals his sent to the girl posing as a young teen.Hansen: Now, when you were online, you sent this picture.Anguiano: Yes, sir.Hansen: You did? Anguiano: Yeah. I’m not gonna deny that.Hansen: Right. Now, you know that’s against the law, right?Anguiano: Yes, sir, it is. You just get into these chat rooms and stuff and, you know, you just chat away.Hansen: Do you send pictures like that very often?Anguiano: No. Just if, you know, just only if I’m really serious about talking to somebody or something. But other than that, no.
Hansen: Well, Ray what—what do you think would have happened if I wasn’t here and a 14-year-old girl was here home alone?Anguiano: Well, if whatever was gonna happen was gonna happen. If one—nothing was gonna happen, then hey.Hansen: So, if she was willing to have sex with you, you woulda had sex with her?Anguiano: Well—Hansen: Even if—Anguiano: --I would still have second thoughts.Hansen: Second thoughts? Anguiano: Yes, sir. But yeah, I’ve seen the show about three times on TV already.Hansen: You’ve seen the show? Anguiano: Yes, sir.Hansen: So, you know exactly what’s going on here?Anguiano: Yeah.Hansen: You know who I am?
You heard right. This man’s aware of our previous investigations.
Anguiano: Mm-hm (affirms). You’re the—I forget your name. But you’re on the Dateline show.Hansen: Exactly.Anguiano: Yes, I know who you are.Hansen: I’m Chris Hansen.Anguiano: Yeah, Chr—there we go, yeah.Hansen: Now, did you think at all that maybe you were walking into “To Catch a Predator”?Anguiano: It was—and, you know, that kinda crossed my mind and then I just—wiped it away, you know. And—Hansen: So, you wiped it away? Did you think it was a good show?Anguiano: No … I mean yeah, it was supposed to stop people and things like that, you know.Hansen: Well, this is the part where usually I’d say, “I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC.”Anguiano: Yeah, yeah.Hansen: And—right, okay. You remember that part?Anguiano: Yes, I remember—Hansen: And you remember when these guys come out, the cameras—Anguiano: Yeah.Hansen:--come out, right. And then I say, “If there’s anything else you’d like to tell us—Anguiano: No, that’s it.Hansen: ...We’d like to hear it. Obviously, you’re free to walk out tee door you came in.
And like the other men he’s seen in our reports, truesweetguy69 probably knows he’s about to face yet another confrontation.
Perverted-Justice has been sending all the sexually explicit online chat logs between its decoys and the potential predators to the Harris county sheriff’s department. In Georgia, it’s a crime to attempt to solicit sex online with a minor. And law enforcement says showing up at this house makes a case even stronger—so truesweetguy69 is arrested.
He’s put in an unmarked car and taken in for questioning.
Anguiano (to police): I just choose my right to remain silent.
After that he’s transported to the county jail, were he’s fingerprinted, photographed and locked up.
The next day he goes before a judge and his bail is set.
Judge (in court): The criminal attempt child molestation is $15,000.
And as you’ll see there are many more men about to go down the same road—from our undercover house, to the courthouse, and all the stops in between.
We’ve hired a young-looking 19-year-old named Amanda to play the part of an underage girl home alone.
She gets into position: standing by the front door as a potential predator shows up at our undercover house.
37-year-old Todd West has no problem following our decoy right into the house. He’s here to meet a girl who online told him she was a 14-year-old virgin.
Using a screen name we can’t show on TV, he chats on and off with the decoy named mystyk_roses for a week. Then he decides to turn on his Webcam and send the girl a live picture of his penis. After they set up a plan for him to come over, the decoy asks if he’ll bring condoms and Jack Daniels. So did he?
Todd West: Nice digs.Decoy: Did you bring the Jack Daniels? West: Yup.Decoy: You did? West: Um-hmm.Decoy: Yeah. Decoy: Did you pick up the condoms?West: um hum
He seems at ease with her even though he’s in a strange house talking to someone he’s never met in person before.
Decoy: Do you have any special ideas for tonight or anything? Todd: Not especially Decoy: What are some of your ideas? West: Ah - (laughs) I don’t know, you tell me
More about him a little later.
This next man heading into the house, just made a stop at a gas station down the road. As you can see from this security camera video, he bought condoms before coming over to meet a girl he thinks is a 13-year-old virgin.
Decoy: Come on in. I’m just finishing getting ready.William Rowell: You didn’t have to get take a shower. Decoy: Well, come on in.
He’s 37-year-old William Rowell, a service tech for coin-operated machines, also known as “bearinwolfsfur” is talking to a decoy named “sassy_ltl_lady.” He tells the girl, “You know that I really want to make love to you but I want to hold you close to me.” The decoy says “I want that too.” Later using a different screen name, “wolfknight30,” he tells the decoy he’s worried “because of the Dateline shows of late. The decoy responding like a 13-year-old says, ‘What’s Dateline.”
She pretends not to know about the show to see if a man, apparently aware of our investigations, would still take the risk and show up.
He explains to her “It’s a show on NBC. They have been doing a lot of shows about Internet predators.”
But that isn’t enough to scare him away.
Decoy (hidden camera footage): Come on in. Give me about 5 mins. to get ready, there’s sweet tea if you want it, you don’t have to drink it if you don’t want it (laughs) Rowell: I can’t see, I can’t go to your room with you? Decoy: Well that would ruin the surprise Chris Hansen (walks in): Actually I rather for you, oh sir, sir Rowell: Nope.
I don’t get the chance to speak with Rowell or West (the first man in the door). But the team from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office will.
After he’s read his rights, 37-year-old West chooses to remain silent.
West (to police): Oh, can I have a lawyer present?Police: Yeah, sure—West: Thank you. And I’m assuming this is being recorded?Police: Yeah.
But “bearinwolfsfur” talks at length with Chief Rhett Wade and investigator Tony Knotts.
Chief Wade: Who you here to meet tonight?Rowell: Brooke, her name was Brooke.Chief Wade: Alright how old is Brooke?Rowell: Brooke said she was 13. Was my intentions to have sex with her, no.Chief Wade: Did you stop down here at the Chevron gas station and purchase condoms?Rowell: Right, but my intentions were—because she asked me to bring condoms. I had the condoms, just in case. But my intentions were not to have sex.Investigator Tony Knotts: You only buy condoms for one thing. Rowell: To have sex, I know. So that’s why I’m being charged with being a pedophile.
He’s not being charged as a pedophile— that would be sex with a much younger child. Instead he’ll face criminal attempt to commit child molestation.
Rowell: My intentions were not to have sex but if the opportunity was there then yeah, but—my intentions were not to go that route. So that’s the reason I feel like I’m being—tricked
After the interview, Rowell is taken to the Harris County Jail. He’s still in custody today— that’s more than eight weeks. He’s unable to make bail.
Meanwhile, back at the house, our decoy is in place ready to invite our next guest inside.
Using the screen name “gerald_white30627 a 31-year-old starts chatting with a girl posing as a 15-year-old. He asks the decoy if she wears boots. The girl responds “I wish I had some tall ones.” Then gerald_white30627 says “Perhaps we could go boot shopping.”
The decoy types “wow u mean for like the big ones?” Then he cuts to the chase and says, “I’m not going to avoid the subject; I would like to make love to you after we are done boot shopping.”... “I have a serious fetish for boots.”
Gerald White later tells the decoy he’s going to bring her a pair of boots but as he comes in the house he’s not carrying any.
Decoy: Come on in I made you some sweet tea Gerald Robert White: goooodddd; I was (mumbles) Decoy: I just gotta get these clothes out so they don’t wrinkle White: ugh ... (he growns) Decoy: did you bring the riding boots? White: yes - they out in the car Decoy: okay I’ll be right there Hansen (walks in): Have a little shopping day planned this afternoon? White: Ahhhhhhh, yup Hansen: And who you taking shopping today? White: ahhhhhhhhhhh, (pause) NatashaHansen: Natasha? White: YeahHansen: And how did you meet Natasha?White: Met her online. Hansen: Online? White: YesHansen: And how old do you think Natasha is? White: Have no idea.Hansen: Have no idea?White: No sir, we haven’t discussed it
To refresh his memory, I read to him from his chat log.
Hansen (reading chat transcript): ‘I’m 15’ White: I’m, you don’t have to go any further I understand Hansen: You talk about taking her out and buying some boots White: Yeah Hansen: What’s up with that? White: It’s just shopping Hansen: So you just found a 15-year-old girl online and you decided you’re gonna buy her leather boots - that you want her to wear 24 hrs. a day, you say right here. What was your plan here today? White: No plan whatsoever. Hansen: No plan whatsoever? White: Just come to talk and everything, obviously I need to go.
As the 31-year-old heads for the door, law enforcement moves into place—ready to take the man down as soon as he walks outside.
Police arrest him and lead him away—clearing the front of the house so more suspects are free to come in.
Whether near a big city or a rural area like Harris County Georgia, lines of potential predators find their way to our undercover houses.
Meet 24-year-old Brian Lindsey. Here, because he was invited by a girl who said online she was 15.
Using the screen name “blindsey_01,” he describes how he wants to give the girl oral sex. He says “ I can’t control my horny level. “Then he says “I want to ____ your brains out I can’t help it.” Now he’s driven two and a half hours to meet her.
Decoy: Have some tea if you want some. It’s sweet tea, is that okay?Brian Lindsey: Yeah. I already drank some on the way.Chris Hansen (walks in): Did you find the place okay?Lindsey: Yes, sir.Hansen: Why don’t you have a seat right over there, please. What are you up to tonight?Lindsey: Just driving around.Hansen: Just driving around?Lindsey Yes, sir.
And why is he just driving around? He says he’s been away from Georgia for two years while serving in the United States Air Force and he wanted to learn his way around again.
Hansen: How is that lesson going for you tonight so far?Lindsey: Not too good.
Then he comes up with a completely different excuse.
Hansen: What made you drive into this driveway and walk into this house?Lindsey: I’m just asking for directions, like.Hansen: Oh, so you’re lost?Lindsey: Yes, sir.
But he drops that story as soon as I read to him from his chat log.
Hansen: ‘I take it you’re a virgin.’Lindsey: No, sir.Hansen: Not you. I’m reading from the conversation between you and Natasha. You say to her, “I take it you’re a virgin.” She says, “No, but I’m no ho.” You talk about oral sex in great detail. How you like to do it.Lindsey: Honestly, my intention was not to do anything like that because I know it’s jail bait.Hansen: Jail bait.Lindsey: A 24-year-old with a 15-year-old, that’s jail bait. You know? However, I do believe you can be friends with a 15-year-old. And maybe go out and go bowling or something like that. Hansen: But that’s not what you talk about here. You don’t talk about going out bowling. Or just hanging out or mentoring this 15-year-old girl. You talk about having sex with her. In great detail.Lindsey: I will get on there and I will speak inappropriate. Sometimes people will just talk about that.Hansen (reading from chat): “If you were here right now and wanted to, I would not deny you. I want to ___ your brains out.” Lindsey: Yeah, there—Hansen: “I can’t help it.”Lindsey: There is—Hansen: Is there any other meaning for that?Lindsey: I mean, yeah, it’s different, though, between wanting to and actually doing it.Hansen: It sounds like you truly wanted to based upon this. “I can’t control my horny level.” You say during the conversation you just masturbated twice and it hasn’t helped.Lindsey: And I was lying both times. Did I fall into a trap? I mean, granted, yes this is my fault. But did I actually fall into a trap?Hansen: Well I’ll tell you exactly what happened. I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC. And we’re doing a story on adults who try to meet teens on the Internet. And then try to meet them. Lindsey: I see.Hansen: Now everything you’ve just said has been recorded with our hidden cameras. From the moment you pulled into the driveway. Lindsey: I did not come here with the intention of having sex. I came here with the intention of hanging out. Doing—you know, talking a little bit. Maybe go bowling. Maybe shoot some pool or something.Hansen: Well, Brian, what should happen to you?Lindsey: Well, honestly—with this, I think I should just be able—just be allowed to just go home.Hansen: Like nothing ever happened.Lindsey: No, sir. Go home. Just take it as a lesson learned. Not to do it again.
No such luck. Like all the other men who show up at this house, he gets arrested.
While this former military man talked even after he knew he was being recorded, the next man, currently a soldier, doesn’t stay long enough to find out he’s on national television.
Decoy (hidden camera footage): Hey! Just gotta put this in the washer. Come on in.Marshall Girtman: Okay.
He’s 27-year-old Marshall Girtman, a first lieutenant in the National Guard who served a year in Iraq. He’s been chatting with a decoy posing as a 15-year-old. Using the screen name “hiexcitement” he sends the girl a link for her to view pornographic pictures and asks her, “What do you think?” And then asks, “Do you like it?” Later he makes plans to come over and go skinny dipping.
Decoy: Hey, just have a seat. Marshall Girtman: Oh, right.Decoy: You could just take a seat. I’ll be right there.
As he’s walking in, he seems to spot our crew...
Hansen: He’s leavin’.
And takes off. While he never tells us his side of the story, as you’ll hear later, he speaks at length to investigators.
Back at the house, there comes another soldier—an army staff sergeant who served a tour in Iraq, 33-three-year old Rolando Restocruz. Online, he calls himself “marriedandlookingforfun31313.” He’s been chatting for three weeks with “bed_head_red,” a decoy who told him she was a 14-year-old virgin. He tells the girl when he first gets to her house they can take a shower together, “I will undress you and you will undress me ok.” The decoy says, “ok.” Then he says “I will have to get some lubricant too. For a virgin to have sex, it hurts so is better if I put some extra lubricant.” He also promises to bring her beer, a Web cam and sexy lingerie.
But as he walks into the house he doesn’t appear to be carrying any presents. Could they be in his truck?
Decoy (on hidden camera): I made some sweet tea it’s on the table, I just gotta put this stuff in the washer real quick.Hansen (walks out): Having a little ice tea? Rolando Restocruz: Oh hi sir. Hansen: Why don’t you have a seat?Restocruz: Yes sir.Hansen: What are you doing here today?Restocruz: Sir I wasn’t about to do anything. Hansen: You weren’t going to do--?Restocruz: No.Hansen: Anything? Well who were you here to see? Restocruz: I was going to meet her. Hansen: Meet who? Restocruz: Your daughter Hansen: My daughter? Restocruz: YesHansen: What’s makes you think it’s my daughter?
He never answers that question. Instead, he says...
Restocruz: Sir, I don’t want you to destroy my life. Hansen: Well, you made the decision to walk in hereRestocruz: I know sir, but I wasn’t going to do anything I swear. Hansen: That’s not what it sounds like in this chat log.Restocruz: Yes, I was just, fooling sir . Hansen (reading from chat): ‘Damn you’re very sexy you have a boyfriend?’ Restocruz: I know sir, sorry, sorry please Hansen (from chat): ‘So you ever been with an old guy before’?(Restocruz starts to stand and move toward Chris)Hansen: No, I need you to stay in the chair please.
To be certain we have the right man, I ask him about the chat log.
Hansen: ‘marriedlookingforfun’ that’s you right?Restocruz: Yes sir. Hansen (reading): ‘For a virgin to have sex it hurts so it is better if I put some extra lubricant’ Restocruz: Sir yes (sobbing) please—please I wasn’t going to do this, I was going to tell her that I can’t do it.Hansen: Well, that’s not consistent with what’s here, page after page, after page. Restocruz: I know sir. I was going to tell her, I was coming straight out.Hansen: You were going to tell her what, that all this sex talk was just play and—Restocruz: No. That I wasn’t going to do it. I have a daughter. She’s my step-daughter Hansen: How old is she? Restocruz: 17 Hansen: 17 Hansen: And what do you think your step-daughter would think about this? Restocruz: She will, they would kill me. Please sir. Hansen: Your ex-wife, what would she think? Restocruz: She would kill me too.
While on his knees, the 33-year-old appears to try to bargain with us.
Restocruz: I would not, never do it again, I swear. But just don’t destroy my career. I will get counseling I swear. Hansen: Counseling? Restocruz: Yes Hansen: How often do you often chat with teenage girls on the Internet?Restocruz: No, it was the first time. Hansen: Why even enter into this discussion with somebody who says they’re 14?Restocruz: Sir please, please
On his knees, he seems a sad character. But this is the same man who chatted online for more than three weeks—typing well over 50 pages of chat log, saying things to a girl he thought was 14 like, “Remember sex is a little nasty. I don’t want your dad to find stuff in his bed. “
Hansen: Rolando, what should happen to you? Restocruz: I don’t know, I mean oh my god.Hansen: I mean don’t you see something wrong with—Restocruz: Yes sir.Hansen: a grown adult—Restocruz: Yes sirHansen: A sergeant in the army coming to meet a 14 –year-old girl.Restocruz: I will get counseling sir, I swear. Hansen: Why should I believe that? Restocruz: I promise you with my life.
But what happens to him legally is not up to me. His sexual online chat with someone he thought was 14 is enough to get him charged with a felony.
Hansen: Do you ever watch television?Restocruz: Yes sir. Hansen: Do you ever watch Dateline NBC? Restocruz: Yeah about the cops - I see camera Hansen: Did you ever see the ‘To Catch a Predator’ show?Restocruz: Yes. I’m not a predator sir, I swear.Hansen: I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC and we’re doing a story on Restocruz: Oh my god. Hansen: Now if there’s anything else you’d like to say—Restocruz: (sobbing) Sir please Hansen: Otherwise you’re free to walk right out of this house Restocruz: No sir can I go?Hansen: Yes, absolutely.
The soldier is free to leave, but remains kneeling, perhaps because he knows what will happen next. Eventually, he gets up and with his head hanging low heads for the front door. But he’s not on his feet for long.
The tears keep flowing as the police arrest him. But his sob story may seem less convincing once we show you what the police find in his truck: Gifts he brought for a 14-year-old.
Police officer (questioning Restocruz): Astroglide? Is that some kind of sexual lubricant?Restocruz: Yes, sir. Police officer: You brought that with you? How about panties and camisole?Restocruz: Yes, sir.
Rolando Restocruz is the 33-year-old army staff sergeant who kneeled in our kitchen and told a sob story. But if he never intended to do anything wrong—how would he explain what investigators find in his truck?
Police (interviewing Restocruz): Is all this stuff in the vehicle?Restocruz: Yes, sir.Police: Is that Trojan condoms? Restocruz: Yes, sir.Police: So, you brought condoms with you?Restocruz: Yes, sir.Police: How about Astroglide? Is that some kind of sexual lubricant?Restocruz: Yes, sir.Police: You brought that with you? (NOISE) How about panties and camisole?Restocruz: Yes, sir.Police: The Web cam. Did you buy the webcam?Restocruz: Yes, sir.Police officer: Why would you bring it with you?Restocruz: ‘Cause I’d promised her that I was going to give her one.
It was all there in the chat logs that Perverted-Justice provided to law enforcement. Remember his screen name is “marriedandlookinforfun31313.”
Police officer: Does the screen name Bed Head red 14 ring a bell with you?Restocruz: Yeah, that’s Whitney.Police officer: That’s Whitney? Okay.And Whitney you believed to be a 14-year-old girl, correct?Restocruz: Yes, sir.Police officer: Yesterday, around 6:56 p.m., you told her after some chat, “I want you in my chest after we do it all—do it all night sleeping together.” Is that you? And you say, “I love you, baby.” And then you say, “I want to be your loving husband forever.” And you’re nodding your head yes. Then down a little bit further it says—“MarriedandLookingforFun31313” says, “We will have to hide your real age.” You remember talking about that?
He doesn’t deny a thing. Investigators complete the interrogation and the soldier is taken to the county jail—where officers take his mug shot, fingerprints, and place him in a cell.
Two days later he goes before a judge, where he’s told that “criminal attempt child molestation” is a felony which carries a penalty of one to 20 years. Bail is set at $15,000.
He wasn’t the only military man caught in our sting. But this other soldier’s memory isn’t as clear. Remember first First Lieutenant Marshall Girtman. He made plans to meet a girl he thought was 15.
Marshall Girtman: Honestly I can’t remember her age. She only told me that one time. I knew she was probably under age just by the way we were talking—a bad judgment call, and bad judgment call to keep talking to her.Investigator Gary Lewis: Well, you know First Lieutenants don’t make bad judgment calls.Girtman: Hey—Investigator Gary Lewis: Not always.Marshall Girtman: Not always. (LAUGHTER)
But he insists he had no plans for sex with the young teen.
Girtman: I would never let myself do that Investigator Gary Lewis: But you let yourself Internet chat with a 15-year-old.Girtman: Yes, sir. I know.Investigator Lewis: You let yourself come over to a house where there was only a 15-year-old in it.Girtman: Yes, sir. I know.Investigator Gary Lewis: And you expect me to believe that you didn’t expect to get laid while you were here?Girtman: Sir, no, I don’t expect you to believe it, no. But, knowing myself, no, I wouldn’t let it go that far in that sense, sir.
He did allow himself to send a girl he thought was underage a link to a pornographic Web site.
Investigator Lewis: So, you provided a 15-year-old child with a pornographic Website that she could go to?Girtman: Yes, sir.Investigator Lewis: Why would you do that?Girtman: I don’t really have a good explanation of why.Investigator Lewis: What’s really sad, Marshall, is this can cost you a military career.Girtman: I know that, sir.
He’s taken away and processed like all the other men caught in our investigation.
A total of 20 men showed up at our house in Fortson, Ga. All 20 were arrested and booked by Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley and his team.
Hansen: What do you think would have happened had there in fact, been a young teenager home alone, had Dateline and the Harris County Sheriff’s Department not been there?Sheriff Mike Jolley: I believe that we would have had some young child sexually abused. No doubt in my mind.
And there are other adults seemingly on the prowl for sex with a minor.
One man shows up in his big rig.
And another, a director at a computer software company, is playing hooky from work so he can meet a 13-year-old home alone.
One suspected sex predator arrived by tractor trailer. You can probably guess what he does for a living.
41-year-old truck driver from Fayetteville, Georgia Joseph Myrick thinks a 15-year-old girl is inside ready to have sex with him.
His screen name is too graphic to use but in his chat he asks the decoy “when it comes to sex are there any positions you like best.”
The person pretending to be the 15-year-old says “I only did the one...” Then he says, “Well, we’ll try others.”
When the decoy says it’s awesome that he’s bringing the big truck, he says, “Well I do not want your mom finding out because it would mess up a good thing.”
(Joseph Myrick arrives at the house)Decoy (on hidden camera): That’s a big truck. How do you drive that thing? Myrick: Alright, It’s like driving a car.Decoy: Well I would love to go for a ride sometimeMyrick: I’d love to take ya, yeah.(Chris Hansen walks in) Hansen: Where exactly were you going to take her in that truck of yours?Myrick: I was going to take her to places to see Hansen: Like where?Myrick: She said she wanted to go for a ride. I’d take her for a ride I mean, I didn’t mean no harm, not trying to do nothing. I shouldn’t be doing… I mean trying to you know, no idiot no prevert or nothing.
That’s what he says now—but what about what he said to her online?
Hansen: You say, “Well I do think you’re damn sexy and was wanting to know if you ever had sex.”Myrick: Oh did I? Hansen: Yes you did. I have it all right here.Myrick: I ain’t disputing it, no sir, I ain’t disputing it.Hansen: ‘I think you probably have a very nice ass as well.’ Myrick: I know I said some things, I ain’t gonna make excuses for the things I said. I just fell into the conversation, totally… it was wrong. Hansen (reading from chat): ‘Yeah I’ll be your bear and we bear’s like tasting honey’ Myrick: Yeah, I kinda, when you read it back to me like that, I realize what I said and all, you’re right. Hansen: What do you think would have happened, if I wasn’t here and in fact a 15-year-old girl was here.Myrick: I mean I told myself, I’m gonna just sit and talk with her. Hansen: You just said you were gonna take her for a ride in the truck.Myrick: If she wanted to go man. Hansen: How do think a girl’s father would feel if a 40-year-old man took a 15-year-old girl for a ride in a truck? Myrick: He, yes sir, he would be upset, Hansen: You owe that rig yourself? Myrick: No sir. Hansen: So you work for a company that owns that rig? Myrick: Yes sir. Hansen: And how do you think they’d take to the fact that you’re out driving that rig around going to meet a 15-year-old girl? Myrick: Well, they’re looking as in a bad note Hansen: A bad note?Myrick: Like the way it actually looksHansen: You know it’s wrong Myrick: It was foolish.Hansen: It was foolish? Myrick: It was the wrong thing to do and it won’t happen again.Myrick: I know you got a job to do and I see it all the time and ah Hansen: You see what all the time? Myrick: news reportsHansen: You’ve seen this show on television before then? Myrick: No not this show; people taken Hansen: But you’ve seen stories on television news about guys coming to meet underage kids? Myrick: Yes sir. Hansen: I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC and we’re doing a story on adults who try to meet young teens on the Internet. And if there’s anything else you’d like to tell us… Myrick: I was.
Hansen: We’re happy to hear it and if not you’re welcome to walk out the door you came in. Myrick: I told myself on the way down here I was telling myself, “Just talk to her you know just stay away from sexual overtones.”
The 41-year-old leaves the house and you know what happens next.
Office Mike Jolley: This individual, Joseph Myrick, has 11 prior arrests.Hansen: Eleven prior arrests. Ranging from?Jolley: It could range from possession of drugs to simple battery—to theft. So, I mean, a pretty good—pretty good little record that we had on him. As you see—it started as early as 1983.
He was never convicted on the battery or theft charges. But in the 1990s, he was convicted of six misdemeanors and one felony drug charge.
After Myrick’s arrest, his truck is searched, where detectives find cocaine.
Myrick is then brought in for questioning where he appears to admit what he’s done is wrong.
Investigator Tony Knotts: Do you have any kids?Joseph Myrick: No, sir, I’ve got nieces, and nephews, and—Investigator Knotts: How would you feel if somebody did this thing?Myrick: You want an honest answer? Investigator Knotts: Honest answer.Myrick: I woulda kill him.
Then the investigator asks Myrick about his use of cocaine...
Myrick: I’m gonna tell you like it is when I talk [to the decoy] both times, I was under the influence of it.
He seems to blame the cocaine for his current predicament. He’ll be charged with drug possession along with attempting to commit child molestation and obscene internet contact.
Judge Webb (in court): I’m going to set the criminal attempt child molestation at $15,000 -- possession of controlled substance- $5,000.
One thing that’s disturbing about our investigations is that so many who show up look like nice guys— men you’d never suspect of possibly attempting to molest a child.
He’s 34-year-old Abhilash Bhaskaran—a director of software development for a large computer company. He thinks he’s here to meet a 13-year-old girl.
Decoy: Hey; come on in—Abhilash Bhaskaran: How are you?Decoy: Just fine how are you? Come on. I’m just finishing up some laundryBhaskaran: Take your timeDecoy: I made you some sweet tea if you want to pour a glass
His screen name is raj21us21. While chatting online with a decoy pretending to be 13 he asks “Honey, would you like to take me in your mouth? The girl says, “I’m not sure how.” So raj21us21 says, “We will learn as we go along.” But just as they are about to sign off he tells the decoy what he’s doing is wrong--- that he has to be cautious.
Amiejonesschmones (chat transcript): Cautious whyRaj21us21: u know sex with minor is called rapeAmiejonesschmones: u dont want to have sex with meRaj21us21: so i just want to make sure everything is okRaj21us21: i dont want to see a cop waiting to see me there lol
He seems relieved when he sees our decoy and not a police officer.
Decoy (on hidden camera): Sit down make yourself at home. Bhaskaran: Thank you. Decoy: I’m just getting these out so they don’t get wrinkled.Bhaskaran: (laughs) oh all right Hansen: So you have a big afternoon planned huh? Why don’t you have a seat right there please. What’s going on?Bhaskaran: Nothing much, I told her just make a friend and that’s it Hansen: And who is the friend you were here to see? Bhaskaran: Some ah—Amy Hansen: Amy. And how old is Amy? Bhaskaran: She said she was 13 Hansen: 13Bhaskaran: YeahHansen: And how old are you?Bhaskaran: 34 Hansen: 34? And why did you think it was okay at the age of 34 to come visit a 13-year-old girl home alone? Bhaskaran: I said Amy, for sex I am not comingHansen: For sex, you are not coming Bhaskaran: Yeah. I was just make a good friend, hum, I’m educated. I have an MBA.Hansen: You have an MBA?Bhaskaran: Yeah you know I’m married, and the marriage is not going well so. Hansen: I’m sorry, you’re married? Bhaskaran: Yes, yes I am. Hansen: And the marriage is not going well.Bhaskaran: Yes, so I just wanted a friend to talk to.Hansen: But explain to me how the difficulty in your marriage lead you to this house, where you believed a 13 year old girl was home alone? Bhaskaran: She said she is, you know good in studies Hansen: Good at studies. Bhaskaran: And I thought it was like a mature friend I mean. Hansen: A mature friendBhaskaran: Yeah. Hansen: Where were you when you were having this chat with this 13-year-old girl Amy? Bhaskaran: I was in officeHansen: You were in your office? Bhaskaran: Yeah. Hansen: Now does your boss know that you are on line chatting with 13-year-old girls? Bhaskaran: I am sure they don’t. So what would his bosses think if they read a transcript of his pornographic online chat?
Hansen (reading from chat): You ask if she masturbates.Bhaskaran: Right. Hansen (reading): You say “I feel like kissing you now, and suck on your blank and feel the tummy.”Bhaskaran: Right, that is supposed to be a “I slept on that and realize that is not a good thing, not something that I should do.”Hansen: Well, why even come over here?Bhaskaran: It’s like working for one year I just thought I’d take a day off.Hansen: So you took a day off to come over here?Bhaskaran: Yeah. Hansen: So you told them you had something else to do.Bhaskaran: Ah who? Hansen: The people at your office? Bhaskaran: Yes. (reading from chat) Hansen: "I love you so much hon." (pause) You talk about being cautious. Bhaskaran: Yeah.
Hansen: She says "why," you say, "you know sex with a minor is called rape." Bhaskaran: Right, I understand Hansen: So you know the law? Bhaskaran: Yeah, I understand Hansen: Well, Abhi, there is a couple of things you need to know, I’m Chris Hansen with Dateline NBC, and we’re doing a story on adults who meet teens online. Bhaskaran: I have nothing else to say, thank you.
Since he’s never seen one of our reports, he doesn’t know that law enforcement is waiting outside to arrest him.
When he is taken in for questioning he asks to speak to a lawyer.
Bhaskaran (to police): I’m a foreign national. Can i get an attorney or something. Officer: Alright. Bhaskaran: And what happens next, sir?Investigator Lewis: Now you go to jail.
Once at the jailhouse, he is fingerprinted and photographed.
Bhaskaran: My wife and kids won’t know where I’m at, you can call them and let them know?Police officer: I’ll get back with you on that in just a little bit.
Then put t him behind bars jail awaiting a hearing.
How will he and all the others explain how they ended up caught in this investigation?
The undercover operation in Fortson, Ga. is over and the last of the suspects caught in our sting are appearing before a local judge.
For most of the men, the judge sets a bond of $40,000, restricts their use of a computer and their interactions with minors including their own children.
Some of them are not allowed to have unsupervised contact with their kids.
That was two months ago. Now only two suspects remain in jail unable to make bond—George Cleary and William Rowell.
While just about all the men who showed up at our sting house said they weren’t going to do anything illegal, none of them has had a chance to make a plea. Although one man tries to argue his case at his bond hearing.
Jacob Cason: I don’t know for sure, but I hear a little bit of talk about this girl, she’s a actor. She’s 20 years old actually.
The judge explains that this is not the time to submit a defense, that will be at a later hearing. And as for what excuses the other suspected sex predators might come up with, many of them tell us they’d “never done this before.” And while many said it was their first time, a lot of them came prepared for the possibility of sex – brining condoms in their person or their vehicle.
Sometime this fall, these men will get a chance to plead their case.
In the meantime, next week we’re heading west to Northern California to another hidden camera house, this time in Petaluma—the hometown of Polly Klass, the young girl abducted and murdered by a sex predator. It’s also the one-time home of John Mark Karr, former suspect in the Jon Benet Ramsey murder.
In the wake of our Georgia investigation, Georgia's Governor announced the state will triple the number of agents assigned to computer predator crimes. to read more about the governor's program.