BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend police officers have undergone training and are proactively investigating cases online where adults are sexually luring minors through social media, resulting in the arrests of five adults in the past three months, officers said Tuesday.
Several of Bend’s officers have participated in trainings on how to investigate sexual predators using social media, Lt. Juli McConkey said.
Over the last three months, officers have arrested five adult suspects on charges of luring a minor (a Class C felony) in Bend.
Oregon law says luring a minor is a crime when a person sends explicit sexual photographs or explicit sexual messages to a minor for the purposes of sexual conduct. The law also allows a police officer to pose as a minor for the purposes of investigating these cases.
"Bend Police want our community to know we are proactively investigating these cases, McConkey said in a news release. "This outreach will also let potential predators know our community is vigilant. Our goal is to prevent this activity from affecting our community.
"We would like to remind parents and child caregivers to stay involved in their children’s digital world, know the apps they are using and utilize parental controls when possible. Children should talk with a trusted adult so they understand online risks, only chat with people they know, make sure their online accounts are private and block people they do not know."