Another isle man allegedly baits teen victim on MySpace
» MySpace prank leads to arrest
Honolulu police have arrested a second man who allegedly solicited a sexual relationship with a teenager through the MySpace.com social-networking Web site.
The 33-year-old man was arrested Tuesday during an arranged meeting with a 15-year-old Aliamanu girl at the McDonald's at 4561 Salt Lake Blvd. Detectives later booked him under suspicion of three counts of first-degree sexual assault and three counts of third-degree sexual assault.
This is the second time within a month that Honolulu police have arrested a man who allegedly used the MySpace Web site to contact a minor for sexual purposes. Joseph Colasacco, 30, was charged last month after he was found on Feb. 12 in the bed of a 14-year-old Waialae boy whom he had met on MySpace.
In the last several years, MySpace has become popular with teenagers and young adults who use it to post pictures of themselves and keep online journals or blogs of their lives for anyone else registered with the MySpace community to read.
In the case involving the 15-year-old girl, police said the man met the girl online in November when he contacted her through her profile at MySpace, and they later exchanged cell phone numbers. Police said they met face to face for the first time at a military installation and from there began to have a consensual sexual relationship.
The suspect did not have a home of his own and arranged meetings with the victim at his friend's home or in his friend's vehicle unbeknownst to the girl's parents, police said.
Police learned of the case in January when the girl was identified as an unescorted minor by security at the front gate of the military installation. She told military investigators that she was having a sexual relationship with the man, who worked until then as a civilian employee for the Department of Defense.
As a result of the investigation, the man was barred from the base, and he has since been terminated from his job.
Police said the girl had a MySpace profile that showed her picture and indicated her age. The suspect also had a MySpace profile displaying his age when he contacted the girl, according to police.
Police said the suspect served in the military in the 1990s, then stayed in Hawaii but has no residential address.
In the Feb. 12 case, according to a police affidavit, the boy told police he had met Colasacco on three previous occasions prior to the incident. On that night, the boy said Colasacco entered his house and came into his bedroom.
The 14-year-old told police he had gone to the bathroom and that when he returned, the TV and DVD player were turned on and that Colasacco had brought him two magazines depicting nude men in sexual acts and poses along with a DVD showing men engaged in sexual acts.
The boy's father later found the suspect in his son's bed pretending to be asleep, according to the affidavit. Colasacco was arrested and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault, four counts of promoting pornography for minors, three counts of first-degree electronic enticement of a minor and one count of third-degree sexual assault. His bail was set at $20,000.
The star-Bulletin could not reach executives with MySpace.com. But following the filing of federal charges in Connecticut against two men accused of assaulting girls they met on MySpace.com, the company's CEO said the popular Web site remains safe, and encouraged parents to teach children the same commonsense rules on the Internet that they learn in the real world. The suspects were arrested last week in what prosecutors said were the first federal sex charges involving MySpace. The girls were 11 and 14, the FBI said.
"If you go to the mall and start talking to strange people, bad things can happen," Chris DeWolfe, a co-founder of the site, said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. "You've got to take the same precautions on the Internet."
HPD Internet Crimes investigator Chris Duque said he sees a deeper problem so far with the cases he has seen.
"On one hand there's predators looking for the kids, and on the other there's kids getting online and looking for attention from adults," Duque said. "We usually see more of the latter.
"As a society we have to look at the reason why kids are looking for adult attention outside of their families ... attention that they don't appear to get in their home life.
"Law enforcement can only do so much."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
MySpace pranksters help police snare an alleged child molester
FONTANA, Calif. » Prosecutors filed charges of attempted child molestation Tuesday against a man who allegedly sought sex from two fictional 15-year-old girls created by Internet pranksters.
Michael Ramos, 48, was charged with one felony count of attempting to commit a lewd act on a 15-year-old and two misdemeanor counts of attempted child molestation, said Karen Martinez, a San Bernardino County deputy district attorney.
Ramos, who remained jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail, could face up to two years in prison if convicted of all counts and would have to register for life as a sex offender, Martinez said.
Ramos was arrested Sunday at a park after he allegedly arranged a tryst through a Web site, police Sgt. William Megenney said.
But "Jessica" -- the teen he thought he was meeting -- was actually created by five boys as a prank to cheer up a buddy who had just broken up with his girlfriend, Megenney said.
The youngsters, ages 14 to 16, created a phony profile of a high school sophomore on MySpace.com, one of several social sites popular with teenagers 14 and over and young adults, police said.
The boys sent e-mails to their buddy claiming to be "Jessica." Within days they received communications from Ramos responding to a profile of the girl they placed online, Megenney said.
"They start messing with him. He replies to the e-mails" and sent the girl his photograph electronically, Megenney said.
Prosecutors allege that Ramos sent messages from February through March 2 to "Jessica." The boys then created "Stacy," with whom Ramos allegedly conversed from March 2 to 5, Martinez said.
Megenney said the pranksters eventually arranged to have Ramos meet one of the fictitious girls in a park in an upscale area of town.
"They never expected this guy to show up," but he drove up and they recognized him from his photograph and called police, Megenney said.