*Media Alert: A Special Victim’s Unit detective will be available for media interviews between 1:00 and 3:00 today.
In a six-day span, Boise Police Department Special Victim Unit (SVU) detectives arrested three online child enticement suspects in unrelated investigations. The victims were all under the age of 16 and detectives and other adults intervened before the victims were physically harmed. Incidents like this can have long-lasting impacts on victims and we encourage anyone who has been a victim of this type of circumstance to seek support and report it to law enforcement.
“Our SVU detectives are committed to holding suspects accountable and protecting victims from further harm,” said Boise Police Captain Matt Jones. “Together with doctors, counselors, prosecutors, and parents, we are working to create a safer tomorrow for our youth and we hope more education about how these crimes occur will help protect kids online.”
Information about recent investigations:
Friday, April 21, 2023, Boise Police Department Special Victim’s Unit (SVU) detectives arrested a suspect after an investigation that began when a parent learned about concerning text messages on a teen’s phone. The messages were from another adult who was known to them. Detectives worked quickly to intercede and following further investigation, evidence showed the suspect was attempting to have sexual contact with the victim. The suspect was arrested and charged with Child Enticement.
Tuesday, April 25, 2023, SVU detectives arrested a Registered Sex Offender who was accused of reaching out to a 15-year-old he did not know on Snapchat. After an investigation, evidence showed the suspect was attempting to have sexual contact with the victim. Again, detectives worked quickly to protect the victim, and the suspect was arrested and charged with Child Enticement.
Thursday, April 27, 2023, SVU Detectives arrested a suspect accused of arranging to meet and have sexual contact with a teen victim. Earlier in April, detectives were contacted about an incident that occurred over Snapchat in November of 2021. The suspect and the victim were known to each other. After further investigation, additional evidence led detectives to arrest the suspect on two charges of Child Enticement.
BPD reminds parents and caregivers to talk with children about safety online and what to do if they receive concerning messages.
Phone tips for kids and parents:
- Talk to kids about the responsibility that comes with a phone and the possible dangers they may face including cyberbullying, sexting, taking explicit images, and online predators.
- Set guidelines for phone, app, and online usage. Some phone plans have built-in controls to assist parents.
- Parents should monitor phone usage and know who kids are calling, texting, and messaging. Parents should know all passwords.
- Consider having the charging station in a parent’s bedroom at night to prevent phone usage overnight.
- An open dialogue with your child is the best safety resource.