San Francisco, CA — A 20-year-old college student named Ethan is making headlines this week after he used a Snapchat filter to go undercover and ensnare pedophiles trying to lure children. He was successful and his catch was a San Mateo cop.
Ethan — who is not using his last name out of fear that police may retaliate — told authorities he had a female friend who had been molested as a child. This was the apparent impetus behind his undercover scheme to go online and catch the predators.
Ethan used a Shapchat filter called gender-switch to make himself look like a female child and created a fake profile on Tinder under the name “Esther.” A single man messaged him. This man was San Mateo police officer Robert Davies.
“I believe he messaged me, ‘Are you down to have some fun tonight?’ and I decided to take advantage of it,” Ethan said, according to NBC Bay Area.
Ethan then used a different app to text Davies and told the officer that he was underage and asked if that bothered him. According to police, who were given screen shots of the texts, Davies responded he did not care Esther was a child.
“We started texting on there, and it got a lot more explicit,” Ethan said.
Ethan told reporters that he was simply looking to nab any predator he could and had no idea that he was going to catch a decorated cop.
“I was just looking to get someone,” Ethan said. “He just happened to be a cop.”
According to NBC Bay Area, Davies was recently given an award for his excellence in police leadership.
After Ethan exchanged multiple texts with the officer, he then sent all the screen shots into Crime Stoppers. The next week, San Jose police arrested Davies on suspicion of discussing sexual activity with a minor on social media.
The decorated cop has since been placed on paid administrative leave, according to the San Mateo Police Department. San Mateo police Chief Susan Manheimer released a statement about the arrest:
“This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a Department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole. As San Mateo police officers, we have sworn an oath to serve and protect our communities. I can assure you that we remain steadfast to this commitment to serving our community with “Professionalism, Integrity, and Excellence.”
Davies now faces a charge of contacting a minor to commit a felony, police said.
According to Mercury News, Davies isn’t the first San Mateo officer to run afoul of the law in recent years. Noah Winchester, who is no longer employed by the police department, is scheduled to stand trial later this year on charges he sexually assaulted several women while on duty in 2015.
Disturbingly enough, this officer is one of many who have been arrested in the last few days for preying on children.
As TFTP reported on Tuesday, an on-duty cop forced a mother to perform oral sex on her one-year-old son — while he filmed it to make child porn — by threatening to arrest her if she refused.
Iberville Parish sheriff’s deputy Shaderick Jones was serving an arrest warrant last week at the home of Iyehesa Todd, 26. According to St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau, while serving the warrant, Jones told Todd that he would not arrest her if she performed the act for “his fantasy.”
Also, on Monday in Massachusetts, another cop, Edward Holden was arrested for multiple counts of child rape.
Then, on Tuesday, in St. Tammany parish, Louisiana, former St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Jack Strain was arrested on two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of aggravated incest, one count of indecent behavior with a juvenile and a count of sexual battery, after a grand jury indicted him on these charges.
Four cops in four days, all arrested for preying on children. Anyone else starting to see a pattern?
Anyone with information regarding this incident or any other similar incidents are urged to contact Detective Michael O’Grady of the San Jose Police Department’s ICAC/CED Unit at (408) 537-1397. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may either call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line, (408) 947-STOP (7867).