HOUSTON - Police say it appears there are more victims after they obtained a video of a man at a Houston Walmart apparently trying to meet a 14-year-old boy for sex.
Police in Auburn, Washington say a YouTube video filmed in Houston has instigated their investigation of three potential victims of a child sexual predator.
The video filmed and published by a group of Houston college kids that call themselves “Predator Poachers”. The video begins with screenshots of a conversation on Grindr, which is a dating app for gay, bi, and trans people. The screenshots show the conversation begins with a shirtless photo from a man and the question, “How are you?”
The Predator Poachers' account responds, “I’m 14.”
“We don’t suggest anything,” said Alex, the founder of Predator Poachers, who doesn’t want to release his last name due to safety concerns involving the alleged predators he has called out. “We just say, ‘I’m 14.’ So it really gives them like a fork in the road.”
The Grindr conversation shows the man replied, “What are you looking to do? Kiss cuddle jo oral rim? More?”
The man goes on to send photos of his face and private parts and arrange a late-night meeting in Walmart with the so-called 14-year-old.
When the Predator Poachers account asks what’s the youngest he’s been with, the man replies, “I don’t ask. They all say 18.”
The Youtube video goes on to show Alex and his group confronting a man in Walmart who matches the appearance of the man on Grindr.
The video was filmed and published in July, but it wasn’t until exactly six months later that the video became viral enough for those who know the man in the video to recognize him. That’s when police in Auburn, Washington got a call.
“We became aware of it on December 6th and immediately notified and coordinated our efforts with the Auburn School District,” said Commander Mike Hirman with Auburn Police Dept.
An Auburn School District spokeswoman tells Fox 26 the man in the video is a high school science teacher and boys swim and water polo coach. The spokeswoman says the teacher has been placed on paid administrative leave pending a school district investigation. The school district is not releasing the teacher’s identity but did send this letter to parents and staff on December 7:
Dear ASD Families & Staff:
On the afternoon of Friday, December 6 the district was made aware of a video on social media showing a staff member allegedly seeking an inappropriate relationship with an underage child.
We immediately notified law enforcement and are working with them to investigate.
The staff member was placed on administrative leave Friday afternoon.
Student safety is our top priority. We appreciate the person who reported the video. Remember, if you see something, say something. The ASD has an anonymous tip line with four easy ways to report anything suspicious."
FOX 26 spoke with the mother of one of the alleged victims on Monday. She sent FOX 26 this statement:
“We would like to let victims of child predators/abuse (know) that they are stronger than they know, to stand up against them and that they are not alone. More information has surfaced today that I did not know about that (the man in the YouTube video) had done to my son. It is a very emotional time for us.”