(BLOOMINGTON) - Four Bloomington men have been arrested and charged with child molestation for allegedly having sex with a 13-year-old girl after meeting the teen via the app named Whisper.
The teen reported that during the Fall of 2016 she had communicated with the men through the app and then met them at prearranged locations.
Police arrested: 23-year-old Thomas Snape; 23-year-old Mathew Filipek; 21-year-old George W.R. Pearcy and 25-year-old Evan Miller. Each face a felony charge of child molestation. Snape faces an additional charge of possession of a level one controlled substance.
Pearcy was an Indiana University student who worked as an intern in the City of Bloomington's Clerk's Office. A spokeswoman for the city says Pearcy's internship has been terminated.
During the past several days, detectives served search warrants and collected evidence to corroborate the complaint.
According to police, the girl said that during fall break in October 2016, she started seeking out men on a website called Whisper, and told the men that she was only 13 years old.
A news release from Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain says that during the course of the investigation, the victim admitted meeting up with and having sex with the four men.
"She cooperated with investigators and provided a tremendous amount of detail," the release says.
She told police the sexual encounters with the men occurred at their homes and also in a car in the parking lot at Highland Park Elementary School on the Bloomington's west side.
Parents are encouraged to monitor their children's social media and other computer activities. The Whisper app does not keep records of conversations or IP addresses, which makes it nearly impossible for law enforcement to obtain any information, the news release said.
"Parents should be mindful that with the anonymity which this particular app provides, the presence of it on their child's electronic devices should be suspect," Sheriff Swain says in the release. "There is an extremely high risk potential for tragedy to happen when technology such as Whisper can facilitate a child's reckless decisions."
He suggests parents "constantly monitor and guide your child's activity on whatever electronic devices you allow or know them to use."
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