A Louisiana man has been charged with the sexual assault of three children he met through acquaintances and Snapchat, police said.
The man, Ryheim Ross, 18, of Covington, is accused of assaulting children ages 11, 12 and 13, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.
“Given the nature of the crimes and the fact that Ross was targeting his victims via mutual acquaintances and thru social media, detectives have reason to believe there may possibly be more victims out there,” the sheriff's office wrote.
Authorities began investigating Ross in November 2020, officials said, and he was charged in February with first-degree rape with a victim under 13 linked to the alleged 11-year-old victim.
During that investigation, officials learned of two other possible underage victims, they said.
In March, Ross was charged with first-degree rape of a victim under 12. He also was charged with first-degree rape in connection with the 13-year-old, the sheriff’s office said. The teen victim was alleged to have been raped Nov. 3, the sheriff’s office said.
Ross was being held on $405,000 bond, according to online jail records Thursday. It was not clear Thursday afternoon whether he has an attorney.
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith expressed outrage and warned parents of the perils of social media.
“It is utterly appalling that this suspect preyed on young children using Snapchat and mutual acquaintances! When this happens in our community, those committing such heinous acts will be apprehended and charged accordingly,” Smith said in the statement. “Please be vigilant and if you have young children using social media, carefully monitor their content to protect them from being victimized.”
Ross is also accused of assaulting his live-in girlfriend, an adult, and he has been charged with domestic abuse battery.