BOUNTIFUL – Bountiful police are investigating what they call a disturbing case after a 53-year-old man was arrested for having sex with a teen he met on Craigslist.
This is the first case Bountiful Police has handled where a teen met an adult on Craigslist to have sex, and police worry there are more victims out there.
“This case came in as reported from a parent who is monitoring and watching out for their child's safety,” said Lt. Dave Edwards with the Bountiful Police Department.
A Bountiful mother told police she found suspicious text messages on her teenage son’s cell phone back in November, but police said at that time they didn't have enough to go on.
"Simply not enough information to go forward to indicate anything criminal had happened," Edwards said. "We were stuck at that point."
Months later, she came across a disturbing discovery on her son’s iPod. There were photos of him and a man engaged in sexual activity.
“We set up some forensic analysis and we were able to locate some photos on there that were obviously criminal in nature," Edwards said.
The boy identified the man as Chris Riley. He’s behind bars in the Davis County Jail for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Investigators say the two met in a chatroom on Craigslist.
“Any of these cases where we have juvenile children, or young minor sex crime victims, they are difficult,” Edwards said.
Michelle Bush Upwall works for the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, and she said many parents aren't fully aware of the potential dangers of online activity.
“The internet has opened a door of ease," she said. "It's pretty easy now."
Upwall's advice to parents is to set ground rules with their kids, know who their online friends are, and monitor the apps they download.
“Make sure when you're looking at these, understand that they need to have privacy settings, and if they don't, they're a no go for kids for sure,” Upwall said regarding apps.
This investigation is ongoing. If you have any information about this case, Bountiful Police want to hear from you. Give them a call at 801-298-6000.