A 20-year-old student from San Francisco Bay Area college, Ethan (last name not revealed), used a Snapchat filter to pose as an underage woman in order to expose sexual predators and ended up nabbing a police officer. According to an NBCNews report, the police officer was identified as 40-year-old Robert Davies from the San Mateo Police Department.
Ethan used the Snapchat filter and created a female identity named Esther. He then uploaded the picture on Tinder as a 19-year-old because Tinder does not allow minors to have an account. Ethan was then contacted by Davies. "I believe he messaged me, 'Are you down to have some fun tonight'," said Ethan about the conversation he had with Davies. They then decided to move away from Tinder to the Kik messaging app to continue their conversation.
It was during their conversation that Ethan revealed that Esther was actually 16 and according to police reports, Davies acknowledged this information. He was aware that the person he was talking to was a minor. A release from the San Jose Police Department revealed that "Davies then asked her to switch to Snapchat where they also discussed her being 16 years old and chatted about engaging in sexual activity."
Ethan said, "We started texting on there, and it got a lot more explicit." Ethan then contacted authorities who kicked into action and search warrants were issued on Davies' electronic devices. Davies was apprehended on June 6 and booked at Santa Clara County Jail.
San Mateo Police Chief Susan Manheimer said in the statement that "This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole." The police statement from San Mateo Police Department added that he had been placed on a paid administrative leave. The charges against him include contacting a minor to commit a felony.
Ethan revealed to the police that one of his friends was molested when she was a child which is what prompted him to find a way of catching these predators. It was an attempt to lure in predators before they can cause any harm. "I was just looking to get someone, he just happened to be a cop," Ethan told authorities.