GARFIELD HEIGHTS, OH (WOIO) - "I am not a sexual predator." That's what a local man tells me, months after a Garfield Heights mom accused him of luring her 12-year old daughter on Instagram. Antoine Mills admits he goes by "Big Twan 146," and that it's his picture that appears on the often sexually laced Instagram messages. But Mills insists it was someone else who stole his identity and posted the messages.
Back in May, I detailed how Jami Jones posed as her daughter on Instagram, after she says authorities failed to follow up on her complaint against "Big Twan 146." In an on-camera interview initiated by Mills in September, the 41-year-old former Walmart worker said "I do not bother kids. I don't mess with kids." "Was that you?" I asked. "No, no." "Positive?" "Positive," replied Mills. When reminded his picture appeared on the posts, Mills said "Anybody can get my Instagram pictures."
For over six months, we have been trying to get someone from ICAC, the Internet Crimes Against Children unit and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office that operates it, to comment on the case. As I reported earlier, ICAC Investigators, also posing as the young girl, suddenly stopped communicating with "Big Twan 146" and warned the mom to do the same, suggesting she might be entrapping the message sender.
But the messages continued.
And when the "Big Twan 146" began sending pictures of his anatomy, the mom began engaging again as her 12-year-old daughter Jamice. By May, "Big Twan 146" began hinting that he wanted to meet the girl face to face. "Please let me be your first, Jamice, and you will never forget it," one message promised.
Jami, still acting as her daughter, then agreed to meet "Big Twan 146" at a Euclid Discount Drug Mart, and alerted us. On May 13 shortly after 2 p.m., we went undercover and watched as a green Infinity pulled into the Drug Mart Parking lot.
Who did we see sitting in the driver's seat? The real Antoine Mills.
When we aired the report in May, we covered Mills' face and didn't mention his name. Mills now admits it was him who showed up at Drug Mart. But months later, he still has trouble explaining what he was doing there.
I asked Mills, if he wasn't in contact with the girl, how did he end up at Drug Mart on that day? "Now that's the thing," he replied. "I don't know how that came about." "There are 1.5 million people in the Greater Cleveland area," I pointed out. "Who shows up at Drug Mart but you." "Yeah, that was me at Drug Mart," said Mills. "But I didn't meet no girl. I didn't meet no one. I was just sitting there, playing my music."
Mills revealed that he was interviewed by ICAC investigators last spring. They also searched his personal computer and asked him about the pornographic pictures. "I told them, if you want me to, you can bring the pictures right here and I will drop my pants and I will show you." ICAC declined the offer. Mills says ICAC told him, if they don't contact him again, that he was in the clear. He says he never heard from them again.
"I don't like the young kids," Mills reassured me. "I have four daughters of my own." Then he turned to the camera with a message for the mom: "Jami Jones, I don't want your daughter. I never wanted your daughter."
But Jami Jones still isn't buying what Mills is selling. "I actually witnessed him that day that he was caught on tape (by Cleveland 19). Him sitting, waiting for like at least 15 minutes for my daughter to show up." As much as skepticism Jami has for Mills, she has even more criticism for ICAC and the County Prosecutor. "What I did is what any parent would do. Especially if I continuously see this man trying to get my daughter. And If I'm seeing negligence six weeks, three months and they haven't even tried to contact him or respond to any of his messages, what am I to think?"
Recently, the prosecutor's office sent a letter to Jami, saying "It has not found sufficient credible evidence to pursue criminal charges." As far as the prosecutor is concerned, the case is closed. Not so for the mom who says her daughter was stalked by an Instagram predator. "It's closed to them, but I'm going to do whatever I got to do to try and get this situation resolved," vowed Jami. "I'm not going to let him do this to another child."
FROM OHIO ICAC:
Chat rooms, social media, file sharing, and mobile apps have become extremely popular for children in today's society. Unfortunately, this technology can be dangerous to children, either through their own actions or their interactions with others. The internet has created a virtual playground that has allowed individuals to hide their true identity while gaining access to a variety of personal information. In the wrong hands, this information can be used to harass, threaten or intimidate children, further putting them at risk.
The 2010 Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS) conducted by The Crimes Against Children Research Center revealed that 97% of children ages 10-17 were using the internet from home and 47% of youth were using the internet from their cell phones.
Child pornography is created worldwide and is readily available on the Internet to those who actively seek it. Anyone can purchase a computer, gain Internet access and immediately begin collecting and distributing child pornography. Once a pedophile possesses this contraband, he/she can quickly contact children through social media accounts and chat rooms.
The scope of this problem is significant: the research center also found that in 2010 approximately 1 in every 11 children using the internet received an unwanted sexual solicitation.
Over time, these pedophiles gather personal information from their intended victims and, in the worst cases, may go to great lengths and expense to meet their victims face-to-face. These meetings often result in kidnapping and sexual assault. New child pornography is generated frequently from these assaults, repeating this destructive cycle.
- Carl Monday helps mom with suspected Instagram predator
- Report Online Predators & Child Pornography
- Instagram Tips for Parents
- Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children offers safety tips for parents
- Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children offers safety tips for kids
- Instagram Privacy and Safety Tips:
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