New York man found hiding in girl's closet after online meet up

Experts warn of new apps parents should know about
Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 18:50:55-04

A New York man is in the Pasco County jail after he was discovered in the bedroom of a 13-year-old girl he’d met online.

He traveled by train to New Port Richey to meet her.

It’s just the latest case involving an adult meeting a teen through the web.

Pasco deputies arrested Christian Roque and said that he told them he thought the girl was 20, not 13. 

The parents of the 13-year girl said they actually found him hiding in their daughter’s closet.

Investigators said Roque had sexual contact with the teen and also had several nude pictures of her on his phone. They used snap chat to share the pictures.

“Children are the most vulnerable and they are naive.” said detective John Sell. Sell is part of the Pasco Sheriff’s cyber crimes unit.

He said they have dozens of cases of kids getting into dangerous situations on-line.

“Just because you think you are talking to a person your age, doesn’t mean that you are. Just because they send a picture doesn’t mean that’s them,” said Sell.

Experts say predators go after children through social networking, blogs and chat rooms. They seduce their targets through attention and affection.

They also know the latest music and trends likely to interest children, according to experts.

It’s important tell kids from an early age what is not appropriate information to share online.

Parents also need to keep up on the latest apps.

Detective Sell said one called Whisper promises total anonymity, but you can share messages, pictures and video.

Game systems like Playstation and X-box allow communication and can have cameras. And there are even apps designed to hide photos, sometimes masked as something else like a calculator.

“If you put in a certain mathematical equation or a certain set of numbers. It will unlock for them to allow them to look at those photos,” said Sell.

The detective said if you notice two calculators on your child’s device one of them might be one might be used to hide photos.