JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - Police are warning parents and children about a new social networking site, called Mocospace, where police say sexual predators are lurking.
Detective Mike Harris with the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office describes it as a place where gang-members chat and adults look for sex.
“In Mocospace, those people aren’t gathering friends there. It’s a scary place,” said Harris.
It’s not a site designed for children, but children are logging on and predators are finding them.
“They are violent opportunists. A lot of them have gang affiliations, the 'thug-mentality' as I call it. And they’re very graphic. They’re always talking about rape scenarios and things like that,” he said.
Within seconds of logging onto Mocospace, 7NEWS found chat rooms full of offensive language, talk about drugs and people soliciting sexual acts.
Harris has been tracking sexual predators on Mocospace, posing as an underage girl or boy.
"I still sit there going, ‘Really? You're asking a kid to do this?’” Harris said.
7NEWS was there as Harris, with help from Gilpin County Sheriff’s Sgt. Troy Hendricks, arrested 28-year-old Jason Fluet, who Harris met on the site.
The arrest affidavit shows Fluet posted this message on Mocospace: “Any girls want to make some money hit me up.”
According to the report, Harris, posing as girl under the age of 15 responded: “How much $$$ and how.”
Fluet responded: “200 strip show sex and head,” according to the report.
Then, the report showed the conversation moved to text messaging, where Fluet allegedly asked Harris for naked pictures.
Fluet was arrested on suspicion of internet sexual exploitation of a child and criminal attempt soliciting for child prostitution.
"Any time someone asks to meet with a child under the age of 15 for sex they’ve committed a crime. Asking anyone under the age of 18 for pictures is a crime in the state of Colorado. Talking to a child about doing sexual acts is also a crime,” Harris said.
Fluet is Harris’ 55th arrest this year, the third arrest off Mocospace. In fact, in the last eight years, Harris has helped put more than 500 other child sexual predators behind bars.
Harris told 7NEWS he often learns about new sites, like Mocospace, directly from children, as he speaks to groups of students at local schools. He said it’s an uphill battle trying to keep up with the technology.
“Our number one goal was to try to be the child, take the place of an actual child before they got hurt. Now, we’re reacting far too often,” said Harris. “The best advice is to be involved with your kids, interact with your kids, know what’s on the phone, know what’s on their computer.”
For more information to help you protect your family check out cheezo.org, set up by the Jefferson County DA’s office to educate children and parents about the most current internet threats.