Friday, January 25 2013, 03:01 PM CST
Five local men arrested for having sex with a minor
By Jessica De Nova/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore.-Medford Police have arrested five men and are looking for three more, accused of having sexual relations with a 16-year-old they met using the internet and smart phone apps.
The minor used Craigslist and the apps--Growlr and Grindr--to meet the men. He claimed he was 18 years old. The men ranged in ages from 24-50.
Medford Police said, it is important to know who you are having sexual relations with. "That is against the law. You can't have sex with a minor and I think most people should know that and they may claim well heck, I didn't know. Well you should do the due diligence to at least see who you are going to have sexual relations with before you do that. Otherwise, you do run the risk of getting yourself into some trouble," said Lt. Mike Budreau with Medford Police Department.
When his parents found out, they contacted Medford Police.
The Children's Advocacy Center said teens are more prone to risky behavior. "They're very high-risk for getting in trouble because they don't always look down the line to see what the consequences are because they live in the moment," said Executive Director, Marlene Mish.
As for the adults, police said several of them are married with children.
Mish said today's technology makes it possible for people to bring their secret desires to life, while still keeping their families in the dark. "One of the reasons is because they can access. There's availability [...] you can do something bad and the internet is the perfect tool to access people who you would never have access to in your normal life," said Mish.
She added that teens are good at keeping secrets from their parents and it is important to look for signs and be aware of your children's online habits. "Suddenly that teen is just held up in his room all the time, always on the computer, pulling away from friends, grades dropping," said Mish.
The Children's Advocacy Center said the families of all parties involved in situations like this, should seek counseling. "They need to know that they're in a state of shock. Everything that they believed about that particular person is no longer true and they need to deal with that just as a death in the family because it's a death of what you think your world was like," said Mish.
Police said the teen is being offered free counseling.
The case is still under investigation.
Medford Police said there may have been as many as 10 different men. Only eight of the men have been identified. Police believe three of those eight may be out of the area.
The men arrested in the case are Dameon Knapp (30) of Medford, Kristopher Brooke Mix (24) of Phoenix, Paul John Garcia (50) of Grants Pass, James Douglas Coey (24) of Medford and Tobias Kenneth Hoffine (25) of Medford. Each of the five men is charged with Sex Abuse in the third degree, Contributing to the Sexual Delinquency of a Minor and held on $8,000 bail.
The teenager is not facing any charges.