Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

Summary: Investigators have arrested a man who they say contacted a 12-year-old girl on Facebook to arrange a meeting for sex.

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28-year-old Richard Calvin Whitehead of Pennsylvania, intended to lure a 12-year-old girl he contacted on Facebook to an abandoned bunker in a densely wooded area and sexually assault her, authorities alleged. Undercover detectives stationed at Lenape Park apprehended Whitehead as he arrived for his intended meeting with the underage girl, according to court documents cited by The Morning Call.

Whitehead has been charged with attempted involuntary deviate sexual intercourse of a child, attempted statutory sexual assault, unlawful contact or communication with a minor, attempted aggravated indecent assault, corruption of a minor, and related offenses in connection with alleged incidents that occurred between May 9, 2011 and May 24, 2011.

"This case provides a concrete example of how parents need to be vigilant about their children’s activities online and using technology," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said in a statement announcing the arrest, according to Delco Times. "There are, unfortunately, predators in the world who seek to hurt kids. I have no doubt a horrific crime was prevented by the quick response from law enforcement."

Ferman commended the child for telling an adult about the inappropriate communications and parents for immediately contacting police. An investigation began on May 17, 2011 when a woman contacted township police to report that a man claiming to be "Kevin Smith" contacted her daughter on Facebook to "hang out" with her. Here are the initial messages on Facebook, according to a transcript cited by Philly:

"Hi wats up ur cute," Whitehead started with. "Thanks I don't know what you look like," the girl replied. "Heres my number txt me and I'll send u a pic," the man wrote, including his cellphone number.

The girl did not know a Kevin Smith (nor a Richard Whitehead), and did not initiate the online contact, authorities alleged. A 12-year-old friend of the girl, however, posted her cell phone number on the first girl's Facebook Wall and soon began hearing from the man as well. Thankfully, detectives were able to trace the communications to Whitehead.

During the investigation, further text messages were exchanged in the presence of a county detective Drew Marino. On May 23, the second girl initiated a text conversation with the man at the direction of Marino. Whitehead allegedly texted the girl to go to Lenape Park the following day to "an abandoned old house on the path," for the purpose of a sexual encounter. He also allegedly sent the underage girl a photo of his genitals. At 4:00 PM on May 24, detectives stationed themselves at the park's entrance and observed Whitehead as he texted the 12-year-old girl asking her if she was coming, before moving in to take him into custody.

Whitehead is being held in the county jail in lieu of $500,000 cash bail, and faces a preliminary hearing on the charges on June 2, 2011 before District Court Judge Albert Augustine. If he makes bail, he can have no contact with minors, and if convicted of all the charges, he faces a possible maximum sentence of 90 to 180 years in prison.

Facebook's Statement of Rights and Responsibilities require users of the social network to be at least 13 years old (and even older, in some jurisdictions). Millions of preteens use the service anyway: some get permission from their parents to create an account while others lie about their age to get past sign-up restrictions. Last month, it was estimated that 7.5 million Facebook users are below the minimum age.

Topic: Social Enterprise

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

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  • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

    "Why don't you have a seat over there"
    sev13sev@...
  • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

    I hope that this guy get's what's coming to him. What a sick person! I knew guys that have been in prison (they have since cleaned up their lives after serving their debt to society), and they have told me that people who do this or try to do this to children, they are just as hated on the outside as they are on the inside. This man is sick, and I hope that he get's what coming back to him.
    onslaughtoner
    • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

      @onslaughtoner

      Are you kidding? Once this guy's new "friends" find out what he's in for, he'll be in for a world of hurt.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

      I'm fairly certain he'll get his in the end...
      sam@...
      • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

        @sam@...
        He will get it in the end alright, just not the end he would want, or maybe he would, lol.
        Clayman1000x
  • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

    And this is what happens when kids and adults hang out together. The freaks are loving this situation.
    rumad4it
  • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

    And the brilliant Mark Zuckerberg wants to Open Facebook to kids of all ages.
    bobiroc
  • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

    Ugh. It's creepy to see that transcript. Only three lines, and already you can tell that the man has quite the malicious intent. <br><br>I just hope he hasn't had any other contact with minors. <br><br>This is why parents need to be more active in their kid's lives. Take the time to understand your child's world. Don't be so blind to what your kids are doing, yet Mommy and Daddy will continue to buy their tweens iPhones, iPods, thinking it's kosher, and let those go unchecked as well. Before you know it, your tween/teen is sexting someone, using a device <S>most</S> <I>ALL</I> tweens don't even need until they're in their later years of high school, senior year if any. There just isn't a reason why kids under 17 years of age should be having cell phones or Facebook. Personally, if you ask me, the minimum age of Facebook should be 18. Verivied somehow other than by trusting the user to be of age.<br><br>Sorry for the rant. Case in point, parents aren't doing enough to understand the world in which their kid lives. Unfortunately, here, "Live and let learn" doesn't apply here. Here the consequences can be more serious.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

      @Cylon Centurion Apparently parents ARE doing a good job as in this case they contacted police as soon as the responsible 12 year old went to them to let them know what was happening. This is a case of GOOD education and smart social media for a child.

      I'm proud of the child and her parents for doing what was right. Too often we do not see this diligence but I think it's getting more common that parents and tweens are working as a team to eliminate online bullying and other stresses such as this example.
      amorefelina
      • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

        @amorefelina
        You are only correct to a point, there are many more parents who DON'T do that.
        Clayman1000x
      • @amorefelina

        1. These parents are NOT doing a good job, their child was on Facebook illegally - she's underage
        2. What reason does a child of 12 years need a cell phone? NONE
        3. Good Education? The good education would have been if the child wasn't on Facebook to begin with. If you are going to allow your child online, put the computer in a common area like the living room and only when you are supervising.
        4. Bullying? Bullying is not defined as trying to coax a 12 year old girl...you can't take a word like bullying and generalize it to encompass something that it was never intended. That seems to be the trend these days on several words or labels.

        ***Now I was just correcting your "kumbaya Theory" of the situation, the child did the right thing and should be commended and reminded that this is why children should not be on Facebook or online unattended, much less have cell phones or ipads...is that denying them some inalienable right? NO! Kids need to be kids again, and its the adults fault for enabling them...this is a sad situation that turned out great, this time...but next time for some other child it may not, and that is tragic...we've lost our moral compass in this society!
        Fred G Sanford
      • ORLY?

        -and what was she doing there in the first place?

        It's fine & dandy to say the parents were responsible for calling the police AFTER THE FACT when clearly the girl herself told them. But the point you miss is that truly-responsible parenting would have meant neither she or any of her friends had accounts on the site at all, thus never being exposed to this creep as none of them are legally allowed to be there at all!
        beau parisi
  • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

    I would have thought this was a daily occurrence these days.
    Michael Kelly
  • Moths attracted to a flame

    One would think that any pedophile with a brain would stifle his impulses, unless he is eager to go to prison. It seems as if there are those who can't resist being stupid.
    sissy sue
    • moths attracted to a flame reply

      Sissy Sue-you can't fix stupid!!!
      YorozuKid
  • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

    I still don't understand the world today. It's like Minority Report has become a reality. It used to be you could only be arrested for actually committing a crime. Now they can arrest you and keep you incarcerated for the rest of your life for thinking about committing a crime, or planning to commit a crime. The entire world has gone insane! The "justice" system no longer works at all.
    I'm not advocating child rape or pornography here, just the ages-old idea that you should only be arrested for things that you actually do.
    The human race is a failure. Nature should kill us all off and try again with something else.
    Unusual1
    • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

      @Unusual1

      While I appreciate what you are saying he did actually commit a crime. He solicited sex with this young girl and then showed up to the place he agreed to meet.

      At least that is what the news article that I read said. That he actually mentioned sex in his conversations with her.
      bobiroc
    • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

      @Unusual1

      Would you have rather he raped one of these two young girls? I for one am glad they nabbed him before he could.

      If you have the intent, then you might as well have actually commited the crime in my book.
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

      @Unusual1 <br>And if you read the story, he was charged with ATTEMPED... It is a crime to attempt to comit a crime. I would hope they nab these people before penitration takes place.
      Tiredofdumbasses
    • RE: Arrested: man planned sex with 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook

      @Unusual1
      I agree with you to a point. However, should a terrorist be arrested for planning on hurting others or wait until after the fact?

      I don't condone rape either, no matter what the age is. Rape is violence. Period. Why it carried a really stiff penalty is beyond me?
      The penalty for violence should be the exact same no matter what type of violence it is.

      Crimes of collusion and conspiracy are crimes that haven't happened yet, but were intended to be done.

      Now, should a guy be arrested and imprisoned if the female lied about her age? H3LL N0! SHE should get the same penalty as he would have gotten if he actually knew her real age and did it anyway. If he gets 90 years for actually doing it , but if she lied then SHE should get 90 years for that kind of lie.

      You are absolutely right - perhaps the human race should be culled and we all start over with some sanity and common sense in running things.
      Zolar