Thursday, August 1, 2013

IA - Teenagers speak out about registered sex offender

Original Article


By Lauren DeWitt

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Social media helped introduce a registered sex offender to young, aspiring models.

[name withheld] was arrested Monday in Dubuque after being accused of taking nude photos of girls in the Dubuque area.

Now, some teenagers are talking about how they felt sexually exploited during their photo sessions.

[victim #1 name withheld] had two photo sessions with [name withheld].

"I don't really know how to explain it," she said. "It was comforting but not really, because he did show pictures of nudes that he had taken of other people and would bring up how when I am 18 I could do nudes."

[victim #1 name withheld] said she had friends that were modeling with [name withheld] as well. [victim #2 name withheld] also was a model for [name withheld].

[victim #2 name withheld] was approached by [name withheld] on Facebook after "liking" his photography page. She also had friends that had gotten photos taken by him.

"In a way, I kind of got a weird vibe from it," she said. "My mom immediately sensed that something doesn't feel right, but I just kept telling her 'Oh, just ignore it, it will be fun.'"

"I thought he was a professional,[victim #2 name withheld] added."If they are professional, then they couldn't be like that. There is no way if they were a professional that they could have that type of background."

[victim #2 name withheld] said her first photo shoot was in May. She says after that, [name withheld] remained in contact with her.

"He would talk to me daily," she said. "Just the simple saying, 'good morning' and 'good night.' I just thought, 'He's not trying to do anything.'"

[victim #1 name withheld] said [name withheld] also remained in contact with her.

"He used to 'Snap Chat' a lot of us -- that's how he would remain in contact with us," [victim #1 name withheld] said.

[victim #1 name withheld] said she would never respond to those Snap Chats. When she found out [name withheld] was arrested, she was shocked.

"I felt disrespected and disgusted because I just couldn't believe it," she said.

Anyone with information pertaining to [name withheld] is asked to contact Dubuque Police.

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