Is Snapchat a Tool Used by Sexual Predators to Exploit Michigan Teens? (Pt 2)

A close up of a smart phone in someone's pocket, showing the Snapchat logo on the screen.
Snapchat is a favorite tool of predators online, when ‘catfishing’ for teen victims to exploit.

Welcome back and thanks for joining us. We’ve been talking about the problem of ‘catfishing’ and how some predators use social media as a platform for grooming teens in order to exploit them sexually. So how exactly does someone use Snapchat, or some other social media platform, to reach teens and take advantage of them? By creating false personas online (catfishing), and then befriending teens who think the perpetrators are someone else.

This is where the term ‘catfishing’ applies. Although in truth, it seems that very few people are who they say they are online these days. Between profile pics of their much younger self, filters that erase lines and add make-up, and the clever use of angles and flattering lighting, almost no one looks like themselves. But when those perpetrators use someone else’s picture to intentionally deceive people, that’s when it gets complicated, as one young man from the Detroit are recently discovered…

Cops say the man had many victims around the country using Snapchat.

22-year-old Martez Hurst was busted because one of his victims – a young girl in Missouri – told a teacher at school what was happening to her, and the school employee reached out to the police. Allegedly, Hurst first made contact with her in January via the Snapchat app, and after gaining her friendship, asked her for nude pictures of herself.

Once Hurst had the nude pictures, he asked the teen to send him sexually explicit videos of herself. When she refused, he threatened to expose the pictures she had sent him, which would shame and embarrass her in front of her parents and her peers. The girl discussed her dilemma with a trusted adult, and once the cops were involved, it was relatively easy to track Hurst back to his home in the Detroit area.

The scam, it seems, was being used over and over…

Once confronted by the police, Hurst admitted to using a fake name and false pictures to create an online alias and use it to make contact with teen girls. He also admitted to pulling the same scam (perping) on 20 other victims around the country. In every case, he befriended them, developed a relationship with them online, coerced them into sending him naked pictures, and then used those to threaten and blackmail the girls into providing sexually explicit videos. According to the cops, at least three of the girls had already sent him the requested videos.

We don’t have all the details in this case, but there’s one thing we know that Hurst shouldn’t have done (besides break the law) and that is: talk to the cops! According to court records he admitted to everything! That’s a terrible idea! If you’re ever accused of a sex crime – ANY sex crime – SHUT UP!! Don’t say anything to the cops, LAWYER UP. Just call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 and one of our aggressive and hard working sex crime defense attorneys will be available to discuss your situation and provide you with advice. We can be reached 24/7 by calling 1 866-7NoJail or email us at contactus@kronzek.law

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