Two guys who i agreeed to satisfy someone they believed was an 18-year-old male traveling v his parents are in Davis county Jail after ~ finding the blank profile was in reality a 13-year-old boy.

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Police say the the 13-year-old download the Grindr application onto his smart phone, posed together an 18-year-old and also began communicating with men, including Dakota Freeman, 20, that Clearfield and also David Ellis, 28. Grindr is one Android and iOS-based application that calls chin the “largest and also most popular all-male location-based social network” with a necessity that users be 18 year of age. Most men using the business are search sexual relations with other men, though some are seeking longer-term relationships.

David Ellis

Ellis to be booked for investigation of sex-related exploitation the a minor and dealing in products harmful come a minor, though he never met the young face-to-face. He is being held on $15,000 bail.

To be judge of the violation of dealing products harmful to a minor, a human must, “knowing or believing that a person is a minor, or having actually negligently failure to identify the proper age of a minor,” deliberately distribute or exhibit product harmful to minors. Each separate offense is a 3rd degree felony punishable by a minimum mandatory good of not much less than $1,000, plus $10 for each post exhibited as much as the maximum permitted by law; and incarceration, without suspension that sentence, because that a ax of not less than 14 days.

To be guilty of sex-related exploitation of a minor, attorneys will need to prove the Ellis intended possessed boy pornography. Sexual exploitation the a boy is a second degree felony, with each separate image being a separate offense, v a possible sentence the one come 15 year in prison and also up to $10,000 for each offense.

Neither man has a far-ranging criminal record. Both, as of Tuesday night, continue to be in jail.

One the Freeman’s friends states this is not what that is like.

“I perform not think Dakota would ever before knowingly take part in anything like that,” stated Troy Smiley. “I think that Dakota is a victim the a child’s insecurity and also bad parenting. I don’t care how you spin it, how are friend going come not notification your 13-year-old kid bringing adults right into a hotel room. Dakota is a great kid i don’t think the would ever do anything therefore depraved.”

A former co-worker of Ellis referred to as him a really nice male and always polite.

“I honestly can’t see David as someone who would knowingly set this increase or take part in,” Jefferson Harrison said. “I have actually mixed feelings about the charges, yet that being said, ns feel no party is totally innocent. Ns cant aid but wonder though, wherein is the punishment for the separation, personal, instance who set up a false profile and lured adults into the situation? does he get off through a slap ~ above the wrist and also his phone take away away? Doesn’t he have to be as severely punished? ns truly feel bad that this instance happened, yet it’s just one an ext reminder that we should be an extremely wary of hookup apps and also the predicaments they have the right to cause.”

Police said the situation is quiet under investigation and there might be much more arrests as they are looking in ~ the boy’s cellphone to watch who else might have met v or connected with the boy.

Police also said the 13-year-old is still under investigation for his role, yet has no been arrested and is through his parents. The police walk not inquiry why the parental did not have parental controls ~ above the smart phone. Police could likewise not prize how a 13-year-old can enable someone into the hotel room there is no the parents’ knowledge, why Ellis was arrested, also though he never saw the son to identify he was under age, nor what indicators the parents missed the their 13-year-old would have actually the wherewithal to know there to be a gay sex app, what its name was, how to use it and also how to tempt men come his room.

Grindr’s terms of business require anyone using the phone app be 18 year of age, older in jurisdictions whereby the age of consent is over 18.

1. Age RESTRICTION. THE GRINDR solutions ARE obtainable FOR people AGED 18 year OR OLDER. 1. AGE minimal ACCESS. NO persons UNDER THE age OF EIGHTEEN (18) year (TWENTY-ONE (21) years IN places WHERE EIGHTEEN (18) years IS not THE age OF MAJORITY) MAY directly OR indirectly VIEW, possess OR OTHERWISE use THE GRINDR SERVICES. 2. AFFIRMATION OF current ADULT STATUS. Girlfriend HEREBY AFFIRM and also WARRANT that YOU ARE right now OVER THE age OF EIGHTEEN (18) year (TWENTY-ONE (21) years IN locations WHERE EIGHTEEN (18) years IS not THE age OF MAJORITY) and YOU ARE capable OF LAWFULLY entering INTO and PERFORMING every THE OBLIGATIONS collection FORTH IN THIS AGREEMENT.

Minors, however, can simply lie once asked for their age.

Grindr’s regards to service additionally restrict the use of the app for illegal purposes, like soliciting or marketing drugs.

2. Girlfriend UNDERSTAND and also HEREBY ACKNOWLEDGE and also AGREE the YOU will NOT engage IN THE PROHIBITED conduct & USES noted BELOW:

5. Use the Grindr solutions for any kind of illegal purpose, or in violation of any type of local, state, national, or worldwide law…

A recent court case reaffirmed that online services aren’t responsible for third party content. In that case, a minor represented to Grindr the he to be over 18. Under a federal law, dubbed Section 230, Grindr is not liable because that the info it receives indigenous a user, also if they space a minor, and also users wanting to sue the organization for troubles they encounter, like arrest, will certainly not prevail.

Another case from 2007 including the website SexSearch dealt with a virtually similar situation. One underage user signed up for an account and also represented she to be over 18; a male met she offline for “consensual” sex; and then he to be prosecuted because that felony statutory rape. The court hosted that SexSearch was safeguarded by section 230 because that the underage user’s misrepresentations around her period when the masculine sued.

Congress passed laws in the 90s that compelled sites to store minors from using their services. The Communications Decency action the son Online protection Act to be both subsequently asserted unconstitutional. Initiatives at “age-gating,” such together requiring a credit transaction card authorization come prove period of consent, have likewise fallen quick as it is basic to get roughly the restrictions, together as making use of gift cards.

Grindr has actually a procedure come report under-aged users:

1. Favorite the user. He’ll appear in your main view even when he’s not adjacent or online. 2. Explain his profile. Include his surname or any details native the around section. 3. Take a screenshot. Our testimonial team have the right to use this to conveniently locate him. 4. Send your Grindr Account email Address. This will help us find your profile.

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