Lt. Dennis Ivey of the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Department said both men used the Internet and texting, or texting apps, to communicate with the teen. Both meetings, about a month apart, led to criminal charges.
Police charged Kenneth Smith of Chesapeake, and Michael Baigert of Virginia Beach, in the separate incidents.
Ivey said investigators have met with the girl and her family to make sure she stops communicating with strangers. And he urged parents to aggressively monitor their children’s online lives. But because social media and apps quickly evolve, he is urging other teens to look out for each other.
“If you see an inappropriate relationship developing on a social media website, or on any kind of app, you know you are obligated as a friend to tell someone, an adult or somebody,” Ivey said.
In cases like this, police seize a teen victim’s cell phone as evidence. When the case is over, Ivey said, they wipe the memory of any pictures, chats and texts before returning it.