TOMS RIVER-Social media in Ocean County was buzzing today after a YouTuber posted a video of himself pretending to be a 14-year-old girl and making arrangements to meet a Lacey man for sex.
On a relatively new YouTube channel called “Minority vs. Predator”, hosts engage in online discussions to lure child predators into provocative online chats. In this instance in Toms River, the man on the other side of the text was lured to Five Guys burgers on Route 37.
The encounter was posted online and shared, but Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said today, leave the criminal investigations to law enforcement authorities.
“Investigations into alleged criminal activity must be conducted by trained law enforcement officials — with the assistance of members of the public when and where appropriate,” Billhimer said. “Private citizens who take it upon themselves to investigate what they believe to be criminal conduct may compromise the potential investigation. They can also find themselves in a very dangerous situation. Please leave criminal investigations to the professionals.”
“Everything is being forwarded to the proper authorities this afternoon. And I’ve talked to a myriad of people who have met him through the years. So he will be reported today,” the MVP host said earlier in the day.
Later, he posted an update, “I left the prosecutors office an hour ago. I have my statement. He turned himself in and things will be resolved legally. Please refrain from using my real name on this channel, to anyone who came from Facebook.”
Billhimer acknowledged that his office is now conducting a criminal investigation into the matter.
“The Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office High Tech Crime Unit and Special Victims Unit are currently investigating the authenticity of a video that was posted on YouTube on March 1, 2020,” he said. “The video depicts an adult male seemingly attempting to solicit a 14 year-old for sexual relations, when in reality it was an adult posing as the minor. This video was created by a private citizen with no law enforcement involvement. This is an active and ongoing investigation.”