Man accused of luring a teen through an app before sexually assaulting her
An urgent warning for parents, after a 17-year-old is lured away from home through a new app called “MeetMe” and then sexually assaulted.
Investigators say the teenage victim met Blaine Pierce, 30, after talking with him through the app for a year.
They even exchanged nude photos before they met at the Edison Mall late last year, according to the report. It goes on to say Pierce sexually battered her.
An expert tells WINK that this kind of grooming is a common strategy for human traffickers and this teen was most likely not the only one.
Teresa Rodriguez, a parent, says in a world of constant connection through social media and technology, she’s concerned as her 4-year-old daughter grows up, “She’s not gonna get a phone until she’s a teenager.”
“Yeah we are afraid. It’s a scarier world now then when I was growing up,” She says.
Nola Theiss, executive director at the Human Trafficking Awareness Partnerships says, “That’s called grooming and that’s a very common technique. And I guarantee you, this is not the only girl he’s doing this with.”
From there, the report says Pierce lured the girl back to his home where the sexual assault took place.
Theiss said she is a victim of human trafficking and needs to be identified that way.
The case shows how vulnerable your kids can be to a heinous crime.
“The law says anyone under the age of 18 are considered victims of human trafficking if they get involved in any way with the sex trade,” Theiss said.
Making it even more crucial for parents to make a connection with their children stronger than the connection they have to anyone online.
“You have to grow with them, you have to learn the apps, have talks with them,” Cline says. “Let them know what’s OK and what’s not OK.”
Pierce bonded out of jail Wednesday.