The Short of It
An upstate New York mom helped police nab a Level 2 sex offender with her daughter's Facebook account.
Score one for all the social media savvy parents out there!
The mother of a girl not yet 15 years old was checking her daughter's Facebook page one day when she noticed a bunch of messages from an older man she didn't recognize named Dennis Williams.
"The messages at first were about trying to meet; seemed innocuous," Colonie Police Lt. Robert Winn told News 10. But as the language became more sexual, the mom decided to investigate. Call it mother's intuition, but after doing a little digging, she discovered Dennis Williams was actually a Level 2 sex offender who had been convicted of attempting to distribute indecent material to a minor six years ago.
After the mom called the police, investigators posed as the daughter online. Williams then texted naked photos of himself, said he was excited to meet the young girl, and then drove from Nassau, N.Y., for a rendezvous at the Peter Harris Plaza. Instead, he was arrested by investigators.
Many parents question whether or not they should be a part of their kids' online life. But in this case, Winn said the girl's mom did everything right.
"They have a good enough relationship where the mom was monitoring her internet activities," he said. "It prevented what could have possibly been a very bad decision on her part as well as a criminal act on his."
Even worse, Winn says Williams sent the exact same message to hundreds of other girls on Facebook that same day. Luckily, the mom's social media skills came to the rescue, and Williams is now in the Albany County Jail being held without bail.
"His intent that day was to have sex with an underage female," says Winn. "And we prevented that from happening."