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2 cases of adults luring young teens prompts Internet safety reminders

2 cases of adults luring young teens prompts Internet safety reminders

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SALT LAKE CITY — Two recent separate, unrelated criminal cases have police reminding parents about the importance of monitoring their children's' social media and texting activity.

Jesse Christian Webb, 20, of Salt Lake City, was charged April 27 in 3rd District Court with aggravated sexual abuse of a child and sodomy on a child, first-degree felonies. A warrant was issued for his arrest and he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on May 5.

On that same day, in an unrelated case, Tyler Dane Hansen, 23, of Bountiful, was also booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on a warrant for child kidnapping, a first-degree felony.

Webb is accused of abusing a 13-year-old girl he met on Facebook. On Feb. 4, the two met in the parking lot of Cyprus High School and he sexually abused her, charging documents state.

What are signs that your child might be at risk online?

1. Your child spends large amounts of time online, especially at night.

2. You find pornography on your child's computer.

3. Your child receives phone calls from men you don't know or is making calls, sometimes long distance, to numbers you don't recognize.

4. Your child receives mail, gifts, or packages from someone you don't know.

5. Your child turns the computer monitor off or quickly changes the screen on the monitor when you come into the room.

6. Your child becomes withdrawn from the family.

7. Your child is using an online account belonging to someone else.

Source: fbi.gov

Hansen is accused of arranging a meeting with a 13-year-old girl in November at a location in Salt Lake County, picking her up and driving her to his home in Bountiful where she spent the night, according to charging documents. The girl's mother discovered the activity after reviewing her daughter's text messages, police said.

Similar incidents took place in August and September, according to court records. Despite the fact Hansen knew he was under investigation with pending criminal charges, he "continued to have contact with (the girl), even telling her that he did not care about the charges," according to court records.

In March, Hansen was convicted of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a class B misdemeanor, for the prior incidents and was sentenced to probation.

Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal said parents need to check their children's texting and social media activities.

"There are so many predators that are on the Internet trying to connect with kids," he said.

Parents will know their children best, Hoyal said, and should decide to monitor their child's social media activity and cellphones as often as they feel it's necessary.

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Pat Reavy

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