A quick-thinking mother was able to use Facebook to catch a suspected sex offender who was preying upon her 11 year-old daughter by sending him a phony photo to which he sent a shocking – and illegal – response.
The Daily Mail is reporting that a woman who does not wish to be identified discovered that her underage daughter not only opened a Facebook account against her wishes, but was using it to communicate with a 23 year-old man named Michael Jerome Bradley.
She was shocked to read some of the messages he was sending her, including how he wanted to have sex with her and for her to have his child.
Furious, the mother picked up the phone and called him. “Do you know she’s 11 years old?” she asked the man, according to the Tampa Tribune. “If you keep calling my daughter, if you keep texting my daughter, I’m going to call the police and have you arrested.”
Bradley did not heed her warning and continued to contact her daughter. The 47 year-old mother went to police but they said they didn’t have enough evidence to make an arrest.
The mother decided it was time to take matters into her own hands. She began to pretend to be her daughter and sent the man messages. When he asked her to send him a provocative picture of herself, she complied.
“I scrolled through the Target paper and saw a girl in her bra, so I just grabbed my cell phone, took a picture of it and sent it to him.”
Bradley responded by sending her graphic text messages along with naked photos of himself.
She now had more than enough evidence for police to make an arrest.
Bradley was arrested on eight counts of displaying obscene images to a minor and eight counts of unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
“I just thank God that I got a hold of it when I did,” the mother said. “I can only image how far things could have gone if I would not have got a hold of it.”
She’s speaking out because she wants other parents to be aware of the dangers lurking on the internet. “If you got young girls and they’re on Facebook, you better pay attention because if you don’t, it leads to more and more.”
Bradley is being held at the Pinellas County jail on $120,000 bail.
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