San Diego Man Arrested for His Online Relationship with a 12-Year-Old Girl
NUEVO— A Perris area father tackled and detained a man who was having an inappropriate online affair with his under-aged daughter, holding him there until authorities arrived.
After realizing that his daughter was missing, a man from Nuevo, a community to the east of Perris, called authorities on Monday, June 29th at approximately 1:39 in the morning. Deputies responded to the home 22000 block of Via Santana, finding more than just the missing child.
Before deputies could arrive, the father had discovered that his 12-year-old daughter was actually outside. She had set up a meeting with a man she had been communicating with online, and the two were standing next to his vehicle.
According to a Sheriff’s Department press release, after a brief physical altercation, the father detained the man and waited for the deputies to arrive.
The man was identified as Scott Stilwell, 27 years old, of San Diego County. The suspect was booked at the Southwest Detention Center, charged with contacting a minor with intent to commit a sexual offense, and sending harmful matter to a minor. He remained there Tuesday in lieu of $25,000 bail, online jail records showed.
According to the Press Enterprise, Stillwell had been communicating with the 12-year-old girl for an “extensive” period of time when he showed up at the minor’s home
The Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (COPPA), a United States federal law, protects the privacy and safety of children online. Children under 13 cannot legally give out personal information, unless they have their parents’ permission and the site verifies this.
Many social media outlets, such as Facebook, do not allow underage children to use their services simply due to the amount of work involved to verify permission. All Facebook users must certify they are over the age of 13, and this is also true of many other online services. In a Press Release, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reminded parents and caretakers to be aware of their children’s online and cellular telephone activity to ensure their safety.