Saturday, November 05, 2005

Dateline Transcript - To Catch a Predator; Hidden camera investigation lures sexual predators from the Internet to home in Washington, DC

From: The Awareness Center's Daily Newsletter
(It appears that even though there is significant evidence regarding Rabbi David Kaye, and the other individuals featured in this show, there was no mention of anyone being arrested).

NBC News Transcripts
Dateline NBC 8:00 AM EST NBC
November 4, 2005 Friday

To Catch a Predator; Hidden camera investigation lures sexual predators from the Internet to home in Washington, DC
Reporters: Chris Hansen


STONE PHILLIPS: The men you just saw were all trolling Internet chat rooms trying to meet up with an underage teen-ager. Good evening. I'm Stone Phillips.

ANN CURRY: And I'm Ann Curry. It's a dangerous side of the Internet, one that's growing, and many children are at risk. So we went undercover, filling a house with hidden cameras, and soon a long line of visitors came knocking, expecting to find a young teen-ager they'd been chatting with on the Internet home alone.

PHILLIPS: Instead they found DATELINE. We want to warn you that some of what you'll see tonight is explicit, but parents need to know what their kids can confront when they sit down at the computer. Chris Hansen has our DATELINE Hidden Camera Investigation.

CHRIS HANSEN reporting: (Voiceover) You are watching respected members of the community who have a secret--a potentially criminal secret involving the possible sexual exploitation of children.

(Various men)

DEL: Hello?

Unidentified Man #1: Knock, knock?

Unidentified Man #2: I can come in?

Unidentified Man #3: Where are you? Hello?

HANSEN: (Voiceover) They think they're headed for a clandestine meeting with a 12-, 13- or 14-year-old.

(Various men in home)

DEL: Hello?


DEL: Hey. Hold one second. I got to change my shirt, OK?

Rabbi KAYE: OK.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) They think a child is home alone.

(Steven Bennof)

Mr. STEVEN BENNOF: Where are you? Oh, OK?

DEL: I need--I just--I need to get my new shorts on.


HANSEN: (Voiceover) Tonight, a DATELINE Hidden Camera Investigation will explore how some men use the Internet to attempt to meet children apparently for sex.

(Monitors showing images from hidden camera; person typing)

DEL: Did you bring condoms?

Man #1: Yeah.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) The problem seems to be getting worse, and the profile of the suspected predators more frightening. Just this past summer, an editor for Weekly Reader, a newspaper for school children, was arrested for using the Internet to solicit sex with a 14-year-old boy. He pleaded not guilty. And this past spring a New York City cop, a youth officer was caught attempting to meet a child on line for sex. He pleaded guilty last month to attempted use of a child in a sexual performance, and agreed to serve six months in prison.

Law enforcement officials estimate that 50,000 predators are on line at any given moment, and the number of reports of children being solicited for sex is growing said Michelle Collins of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

(Search engine home page on computer screen; chat text on computer screen; text from children's newspaper; photo of Noel Neff; text from newspaper articles; photo of Michael Costello; person typing; chat text on computer screen; blurred images of children walking; Michelle Collins)

Ms. MICHELLE COLLINS: One in five has been sexually solicited, and in many cases, the incidents were actually aggressive where the person on the other end of the computer is actually calling the child, sending things to their homes, or actually trying to meet them in person.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Her organization launched an ad campaign aimed at educating teens about this crime.

(Excerpt from awareness ad)

Ms. COLLINS: The message that really got home to the teen-age girls was that if you're in an online relationship, there's a good chance you might be getting played.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) And Collins says young teens are often an easy target.

(Blurred images of children walking)

Ms. COLLINS: Teen-agers have vulnerabilities. It just ups the ante when you bring it on to the World Wide Web, and that many more people have access to knowing what's going on inside a child's mind.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Katie Tarbox is a perfect example. She recounts her story in the book "A Girl's Life Online."

(Hansen interviewing Katie Tarbox; book cover)

Ms. KATIE TARBOX: I was a 13-year-old girl. I was a bit curious about the--the opposite sex.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Katie began an Internet relationship with a 23-year-old, an older man who convinced her he shared many of her interests.

(Girl typing at computer; chat text on computer screen)

Ms. TARBOX: In my mind I'm thinking, `Oh, my gosh. Like, this is my soul mate out there.' In actuality, he was just learning my interests, probably researching them at the same time, to come back to say that he enjoyed those things, too.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) After months of chatting online, Katie finally agreed to a meeting at a hotel where she was competing in a swim meet. The man was 41, and although they never talked about sex, there was little doubt that's what he had in mind.

(Person typing; hotel; photo of man)

Ms. TARBOX: He leaned over, he kissed me. He groped me, he touched other parts of my body. I mean, essentially was molested.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) And since then Katie, now 23, has become an advocate for Internet victims. She warns children to steer clear of Internet predators, and says she's heard thousands of tragic stories from victims who did not.

(Tarbox talking to children in classroom)

Ms. TARBOX: You could never put us in a room. I'm not even sure if you could put us all in a whole stadium. I think it's very, very widespread.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) And even though tough laws don't seem to deter many of these predators, Lieutenant Jake Jacoby of the Fairfax County Police Department says it's a crime in Virginia for an adult to use the Internet to entice a child into having sex.

(Person typing; Jake Jacoby)

HANSEN: So merely by using the Internet to set up a sexual liaison with somebody who's underage, that's a felony.

Lieutenant JAKE JACOBY: Yes, it is.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Because so many children are at risk, and to demonstrate the disturbing reality of what goes on in some chat rooms, we enlisted the help of volunteers from a vigilante organization called Perverted-Justice. Volunteers of this controversial group are experts at pretending to be children on line in order to catch and expose potential predators. And in most states, soliciting a minor for sex is still a crime, even if it turns out the minor is really an adult posing as a child.

(Perverted-Justice members typing at computers; Web site on computer screen; person typing; Web site on computer screen; people typing at computer)

DEL: (Reading text from computer screen) OK, I'm going to stop at the bank first.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) While some in law enforcement strongly oppose any civilian group conducting sting operations, Perverted-Justice volunteers say they are often able to provide authorities from local police to the FBI evidence to build cases and get convictions.

(Perverted-Justice members working at computers; Web site page on computer screen)

DEL: At this point in taping, we have 30 convictions.

HANSEN: Thirty convictions?

DEL: Thirty. We've had I believe now 22 since the first of this year. So we're averaging well over two a month.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) So how do Perverted-Justice operatives find potential sexual predators? First they go into chat rooms, usually through AOL or Yahoo!, and set up a profile of a 12-, 13- or 14-year-old--a profile that often includes a photo of a child obviously underage, like this one provided by the girl's mother. Then the decoys wait to be contacted by an adult. In order to avoid the appearance of entrapment, they never make the first contact. But once a chat begins, the undercover operatives make it known they're open to the possibility of sex. A few decoys even seem eager.

(Computer screen showing Web pages and chat programs; chat text on computer screen)

HANSEN: How quickly do these conversations turn sexual?

Lt. JACOBY: Sometimes very quickly. As soon as the conversation is `Hi, my name is, I'm 14 years old, or 13 years old,' and the gentleman will then say, `Look at this,' and send you a picture or say something else. And that's--that would be the crime right there.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Well, just setting up a liaison online for sex with a minor is illegal, a face-to-face meeting obviously poses a much greater danger. We wanted to know if most predators were all talk, or if they would really attempt to meet a child in person.

(Person typing at computer; blurred images of children watching; hidden camera footage of person entering home)

DEL: (Talking on phone) Thank you for coming all this way.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) We're set up in this upscale home in a suburb of Washington, DC. We're ready and waiting for the knock on the door.

(Home; people manning tech room, watching hidden camera monitors; man approaching home; various men knocking on door)

CURRY: When we come back, you might not believe who's come calling. Some try to run, but can they hide?


HANSEN: (Voiceover) This lovely home in Virginia just outside of Washington, DC, has become the secret meeting place for potential Internet sex predators. It's rigged with nine hidden cameras: three with views outside, one pointed at the garage, and five inside the house.

Several volunteers from Perverted-Justice, the group dedicated to catching Internet predators, are in chat rooms posing as 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds ready to make a date for sex with men they meet on line. Thirty-nine-year-old Frag--his screen name--who's been a Perverted-Justice volunteer for more than two years, is posing as a 13-year-old girl in a Yahoo! chat room set up for Virginia residents. It's a chat room not intended for romantic or sexual conversations.

(Home; various views inside home; volunteers typing at computers; Web pages on computer screen; chat text on screen; Frag; Web pages on computer screen)

FRAG: There's a girl named Kim.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) As DATELINE cameras roll, the undercover operatives enter chat rooms. They're quickly inundated with adults wanting to talk. Here's a 46-year-old who calls himself the_sphinx59. He thinks he's talking to a 12-year-old girl named Sarah. It takes him only four minutes of chatting online to ask her, "Are you a virgin?" She says she is. And then he asks if she's ever performed oral sex. In this chat, as in many other men's chats, things get much more graphic and disgusting.

(Web pages and chat text on computer screen; photo of Aladdin; chat text on computer screen; person typing; photo of Aladdin; text from chat)

DEL: As soon as those boundaries are crossed, in a lot of ways, the chat tends to get a lot more explicit very quickly.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) This man, vamale_692005, who's 28, thinks he is talking to Erin, a 14-year-old. He asks her bra size, if she shaves anything other than her legs, and says there's "just something about a teen body."

(Photo of Joe Wundaler; text from chat)

FRAG: We'll see if he sends a picture or anything.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) In most cases the men ask for pictures of the young teens, and then second pictures of themselves. Sometimes after the chat turns sexual, the man turns on his Webcam and exposes himself. Several men go as far as sending pornographic pictures, hoping to teach the inexperienced child about different sex acts.

(Photo of girl in decoy's profile; photo of man; censored still image from Webcam; camera lens; censored images)

DEL: I'm just trying to kind of get all the picture semi-uniform.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Here in Virginia, as in many other states, it's generally a crime to send children obscene material, even if it turns out the recipient is an adult posing as a child.

(Person typing; chat text on computer screen; Frag working at computer)

FRAG: (Voiceover) He also sent some naked shots of himself.

(Photo of man)

HANSEN: (Voiceover) After chatting on line about having sex, the decoy suggests a phone call.

(Chat text on computer screen)

DEL: (Talking on phone) I don't know. Because I'm all blushing.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Twenty-three-year-old Del puts on her best "young girl" voice. She needs to verify that the man on the phone is the same man in the chat room.

(Del talking on phone)

DEL: (Talking on phone) Bye. Oh!

The worst thing about doing verification calls is you have to smile while you're doing them so it sounds like it in your voice, even if you don't mean it at all.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) She can also play the part of a young boy.

(Del talking on phone)

DEL: (Talking on phone) Oh, my God! I was like, `What?'

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Once the predator has made it clear he wants sex with a minor and makes a date for the liaison, the crime has already been committed. He doesn't even have to show up, but will he?

(Chat text on computer screen; home)

DEL: Hello?

Man #1: Knock, knock.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) The answer is yes. But this man, once he sees me and not a teen, realizes he's made a big mistakes and runs for the door.

(Man #1 in home)

HANSEN: Hey, how are you?

Man #1: Ah.

HANSEN: Hey, whoa, whoa, whoa! Hey, you're not going to want to do that, I don't think.

(Voiceover) Here's another guy who doesn't stay long.

(Man in home)

HANSEN: Hey, how are you?

Unidentified Man #4: Good, how about yourself?

HANSEN: Good. Why don't you have a seat right over here?

Man #4: No, thank you.

HANSEN: I'd like to ask you some questions.

(Voiceover) He makes a beeline out the garage, barely touches the stairs, and with his arms flailing, runs down the driveway and down the street. Clearly, this man knows he's done something wrong.

So does this guy.

(Man running out of house; Hansen and man in kitchen)

Unidentified Man #5: I'm sorry. You see, this is a all a mix-up. I--I...

HANSEN: No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no. Now, I want to talk to you for a minute, sir.

Man #5: No, I'm sorry.

HANSEN: No, I want to talk to you.

Man #5: No, I'm sorry.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) He also makes a run for it. But he didn't come in a car, so he keeps running and running, presumably back to a bus station, trying desperately to hide his face.

It may look funny, but what these had in mind based on the Internet chats was anything but. Most of the online conversations were so explicit we can't even begin to show you.

(Man running; man running while covering his face with umbrella; chat text on computer screen)

DEL: Yeah, come on in. Sit at the counter. I've got some water and some chips there for you if you want.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Remember the_sphinx59? He thinks the girl in the house is a 12-year-old virgin home alone and willing to perform oral sex. But like many other men you'll meet, he's in for a big surprise when I walk out. Some think I'm the child's father, others apparently believe I'm with law enforcement. One thing's certain: none of them knows our hidden cameras are recording their every move and they'll be appearing on DATELINE.

(Hansen and various men in home)

How's it going? Good ahead and sit down.


HANSEN: Why don't you have a seat?

ALADDIN: Thank you, sir. Nice seeing you.

HANSEN: What are you doing here?

(Voiceover) His name is Aladdin. He lied online about his age, saying he was 35. He's really 46, and instead of admitting he came here for a date with a 12-year-old girl, he says he's here to look at real estate.

(Hansen and Aladdin in kitchen; chat text on computer screen; Hansen and Aladdin in kitchen)

ALADDIN: I know that the--the house is for sale.

HANSEN: Oh, that this house for sale?

ALADDIN: Yes. Yeah. I heard about it. A friend of mine.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Aladdin goes on to say that his "friend" found our house for sale on the Internet, and he just came to check it out for him. Later he decides to come clean.

(Aladdin and Hansen in kitchen)

HANSEN: Why did you really come here?

ALADDIN: To see what's-her-name, Sarah.

HANSEN: Sarah.


HANSEN: And you were talking with Sarah online?


HANSEN: So all of that other stuff in the house and all that, that was all a big, fat lie.


HANSEN: OK. Do you know how old Sarah is?


HANSEN: (Voiceover) He tries to convince me that the girl Sarah is 18, even though his own words tell a different story.

(Hansen talking to Aladdin in kitchen)

HANSEN: You say you're 35, male, and you say where you are from. She says she's 12. You say, "Oh, you real young. You like older men?" "Depends, I guess." You ask her about her former boyfriends, did she ever give them oral sex. She says yes. She tells you here that she's 12 years old. What is that number right there? What does that say?

ALADDIN: Twelve.

HANSEN: Twelve, yeah. So that 18 thing was a lie as well.

ALADDIN: I guess.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Then Aladdin apparently begins to feel faint...

(Aladdin and Hansen in kitchen)

HANSEN: What are you doing?

(Voiceover) ...and lies down on the kitchen floor.

(Aladdin and Hansen in kitchen)

HANSEN: Are you OK?

ALADDIN: Yes, yes. Just a minute.

HANSEN: Do you want your water?

ALADDIN: A little--no, I'm fine.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Our background research reveals that Aladdin is a waiter at a holiday Inn. He says he's an immigrant from Egypt who became a US citizen two years ago.

(Aladdin and Hansen in kitchen)

HANSEN: Why is it appropriate to come to a home where a 12-year-old-girl...

ALADDIN: She's the one who--she said, `We can meet to--we can--you can come over to my place. You can--can spend time together some time.'

HANSEN: But that--does that make it right for you to do it?

ALADDIN: No. I feel guilty. Oh, I feel bad about this.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) You'll hear more from Aladdin a little bit later. First, there are more men headed to our house. Meet vamale_692005. He's the one who said "There's just something about a teen body." He's 28, and thinks he's talking to a 14-year-old. He's actually chatting with a 23-year-old from Perverted-Justice.

(Aladdin and Hansen in kitchen; chat text on computer screen; photo of Wundaler; woman walking)

Unidentified Woman: He was by far the worst guy I've ever talked to.

HANSEN: Dozens and dozens of cases before time.

Woman: Yes.

HANSEN: What separated him from the run-of-the-mill computer predator?

Woman: Beastiality. One word.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) He chatted online for more than a week with our decoy, and slowly introduced more and more depraved sexual requests. He even says he wants to involve a dog.

(Chat text on computer screen)

DEL: As soon as the guy said, `Hey, maybe I'd want to do this,' and he wasn't immediately slapped down--it's testing the waters.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Was this all talk, or would this man actually walk into our kitchen? That's him coming in the door.

(Del in home; Wundaler entering home)

HANSEN: How are you doing?

Mr. JOE WUNDALER: How you doing?

HANSEN: Why don't you have a seat right around the stool, please.

What's happening?

Mr. WUNDALER: Not much.

HANSEN: What are you here for?

Mr. WUNDALER: Just come to talk to her.

HANSEN: Come to talk to who?

Mr. WUNDALER: That's it.

HANSEN: Why are you so nervous?

Mr. WUNDALER: I just get nervous. I was going to talk to Erin.

HANSEN: How old is Erin?

Mr. WUNDALER: She didn't tell me.

HANSEN: Try again.

Mr. WUNDALER: I saw--I saw 14.

HANSEN: So you thought it was OK to come here to see a 14-year-old girl.

Mr. WUNDALER: No, I didn't.

HANSEN: And you said, "Would you ever try anal?" "Ouch that sounds like it could hurt." "Not if done right. You have to be very gentle with that." Quite a Romeo.

Mr. WUNDALER: I--I'm a lonely guy. What can I say?

HANSEN: (Voiceover) He's more than just a lonely guy. We did a background check on vamale, and it turns out his real name is Joe Wundaler, an Army sergeant stationed at Fort Belvoir at the intelligence and security command.

(Wundaler talking to reporter; Fort Belvoir sign)

Mr. WUNDALER: I've never done anything--I'm trying to get help with it.

HANSEN: What are you doing to get help?

Mr. WUNDALER: Seeing a psy--a psychiatrist right now.

HANSEN: Well, it doesn't look like it's working too well, based upon all this.

Mr. WUNDALER: I just started talking to him.

HANSEN: I mean, this gets pretty freaky here. You talk about sex acts with a dog.

Mr. WUNDALER: It's one of the reasons why I'm trying to get help, because I get into fetishes that I--that I know aren't right.

HANSEN: I guess you're going to tell me next that this is the very first time you've done something like this.

ALADDIN: Actually it is. I'm serious.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) True or not, remember, this guy tried to entice a young teen into depraved sex acts. It only takes one encounter to harm a child forever.

We set aside three days to see how many men would actually show up at our undercover house. To keep track of our appointments, we set up a bulletin board. it didn't take long to fill up our calendar.

(Hansen talking to Wundaler; blurred images of children; bulletin board with notes and photos)

DEL: Total today? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10 so far.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Some came bearing gifts like beer, condoms and pornographic tape. One man brought shoes and dinner, just what the decoy ordered. You may not think that's significant, but Lieutenant Jake Jacoby, who runs a child services unit here in Virginia, says during undercover stings it can help get convictions.

(Various men entering home; various gifts brought by different men; Jacoby)

Lt. JACOBY: At times when they show up, we like to have them either bring us something or do something so we can show that--that they're doing specifically what we asked them to do.

HANSEN: Shows intent.

Lt. JACOBY: It helps, yes.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) The men who show up at this house looking for a liaison with a child come from very different backgrounds. And as our investigation unfolds, you might be surprised at just how diverse our group gets. Some hold very prominent positions--more prominent than you'd ever imagine.

(Split screen showing eight different men in home; man in home)

HANSEN: What do you do for a living?

PHILLIPS: When come back, the parade continues, more men knocking on the door, more on who they are. And more than a few questions for this man.

HANSEN: Could you explain yourself?


PHILLIPS: (Voiceover) They hold jobs that command our trust and respect. So why are they trying to meet a young teen-ager online? More of our Hidden Camera Investigation when DATELINE continues.

(Various men entering home; chat text on computer screen; keyboard; text graphic)


CURRY: From stalking the chat rooms to knocking on the door, DATELINE's hidden cameras have caught a string of men in the act showing up for a date with a minor they thought was home alone. But you might be surprised at the men arriving next. Again, we want to remind you that some of what you are about to see is sexually explicit. Here's Chris Hansen.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) During our investigation there's a parade of men walking up the driveway, through the garage and into the house--19 men in three days. In almost every case, the man engaged in sexually explicit Internet conversations with a person posing as a young teen. And as you'll hear later, most of them said they'd done it before, and would never actually have sex with a minor.

(Various men arriving at home; Hansen talking to various men in kitchen)

DEL: Did you bring beer?

Unidentified Man #6: No, I thought we'd stop and get some on the way.

HANSEN: And perhaps more shocking than the number of men is who they are. Our background checks uncover men leading double lives that you would never suspect involved in this potentially illegal activity. This man letting himself into our house makes his living working with children. He's a special education teacher. Del is now posing as a boy the man's expecting to meet.

(Chat program on computer screen; photos of various men; Bennof entering home)

DEL: Just sit at the kitchen counter for a minute.

Mr. BENNOF: Where are you? Oh, OK?

DEL: I need--I just--I need to get my new shorts on.


HANSEN: (Voiceover) The teacher, Steven Bennof, believes he's been chatting on line about sex with a boy named Brandon who says he's 13. And how old do you think the teacher is? He's 54 and married. When I confront him, at first he thought Brandon was an adult.

(Bennof in home; Hansen talking to Bennof in home)

Mr. BENNOF: Well, he said he was 23. What's the problem?

HANSEN: I have the transcript, that's what the problem is. Brandon said he was 13.

Mr. BENNOF: Thirteen?

HANSEN: Thirteen.

(Voiceover) And the teacher knows this because Brandon told him online he was 13.

(Chat text with line highlighted)

HANSEN: You talk about oral sex, anal sex and all the different things that you'd like to do with him. What are you doing here?

Mr. BENNOF: I thought I would come see him. But...

HANSEN: Come see him for what?

Mr. BENNOF: I wanted meet him.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) While online, our 13-year-old decoy asked the teacher to bring condoms. Did he?

(Hansen talking with Bennof)

Mr. BENNOF: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: You did?

Mr. BENNOF: (Nods)

HANSEN: You have them in the pocket?

Mr. BENNOF: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: What does that say about your intent?

Mr. BENNOF: Well, I always have them with me, but...

HANSEN: What is a 54-year-old man doing coming to this home, to see a 13-year-old boy?

Mr. BENNOF: I obviously made a big mistake.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) And he wasn't the only one. Not by a long shot. Surprisingly there were many men with impressive resumes, men you would consider trustworthy. You'll never guess what this man, screen name Gbabbnsp, does for a living?

(Various men entering home; Jeffrey Beck approaching home)

DEL: Come on in. I just spilled diet Coke all over my shorts.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) He's is an emergency room doctor.

(Beck entering home)

DEL: I got to go change them.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Dr. Jeffrey Beck, a 50-year-old, is here to meet a boy he thinks is 14.

(Beck in home)

DEL: I'll be right back down there.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Watch how he tries to follow our decoy upstairs.

(Beck in home)

Dr. JEFFREY BECK: I can come up if you want.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) When I confront the doctor, he says he had no intention of having sex with the boy. He only came here because he felt badly for the teen, who was left home alone.

(Hansen talking to Beck in home)

Dr. BECK: He was so anxious to have some company when he was left by himself for four days. Under the circumstances it sounded neglectful.

HANSEN: So you're the good Samaritan.

Dr. BECK: That's correct.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) During his online chat, the doctor was not as sexually explicit as many of the others who showed up. In fact, after we read to you part of the chat, you'll see he seemed to choose his words carefully.

(Chat text on computer screen; photo of Beck; text from chat)

Gbabbnsp: (From chat log) I'd like very much to be your friend. I don't think I even want to have sex with you until you're old enough for us to both not get in trouble over it. Lots more to friendship than sex for sure.

JAY: (From chat log) I would not tell. I done it before.

Gbabbnsp: (From chat log) Once we know each other well, whatever happens happens, but I won't meet you for sex.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) But he does suggest getting physical. After talking about covering the teen with "hugs and kisses," the 50-year-old says to the decoy who he thinks is 14, I want to cuddle you and make you feel safe and loved and cared about.

(Chat text on computer screen)

HANSEN: Experts in this field say that kind of a discussion is consistent with somebody who's grooming a young boy for sex. You see what I'm getting at?

Dr. BECK: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: What's really going on here?

Dr. BECK: What's really going on was I came over to take him out for lunch.

HANSEN: You ask, "Have you ever been spanked?" He says, "By my dad, but not for sex."

Dr. BECK: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: You say, "Could it be fun for sex?" He says, "I can try." You say, "Want to spank a dad?" Now you see how that looks.

Dr. BECK: Yeah, looks pretty bad.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) The doctor maintains he would never do anything illegal, but acknowledges a meeting like this could appear inappropriate.

(Hansen talking to Beck)

HANSEN: Now, if you had a teen-age son who was home alone, would you be comfortable with a 50-some-year-old man coming into the house for a visit?

Dr. BECK: I suppose it would depend on the 50-year-old man. But in general, no, I wouldn't.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) What about this guy? A man in his position is just about the last person you'd expect to be showing up at our house.

It's 4:00 in the morning in an AOL chat room. This 54-year-old man screen-named REDBD, messages a 13-year-old boy named Conrad saying, "I'm prowling for young men." What he goes on to say--and the pictures he sends are so graphic we had to carefully edit them before putting them on television. And as you'll hear when we read from his chat log, it's clear REDBD knows what he's doing is wrong.

(David Kaye entering home; chat text on computer screen; photo of Kaye; text from chat)

redbd: (From chat log) You're only 13.

madc rad1992: (From chat log) Yeah.

redbd: (From chat log) That's rape.

madc rad1992: (From chat log) Dude, I tell you that before***(as spoken).

redbd: (From chat log) Yes, I remember.

madc rad1992: (From chat log) Oh, OK.

redbd: (From chat log) Just you're so, so young. I've never been with a young man like you, but I would like to.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) While the two are chatting online we conduct a background check, and are absolutely shocked by what this man does for a living, and now he's in our kitchen after making a date for sex with a boy he thinks is 13.

(Web page on computer screen; Kaye entering home)

DEL: Hello?

Rabbi KAYE: Hi.

DEL: Hey, hold one second. I got to change my shirt, OK?

Rabbi KAYE: OK.

DEL: I spilled diet Coke on it. I got to ask you, so are you going to be up for tonight?

Rabbi KAYE: We'll see.

HANSEN: So how can I help you?

What are you doing here?

Rabbi KAYE: Not something good. This isn't good.

HANSEN: Not good? That's kind of an understatement, isn't it? What do you do for a living?

Rabbi KAYE: I'm a rabbi.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) That's right, a rabbi. The man who sent naked pictures of himself is a man of God. He's a staff member at a Jewish youth educational organization.

(Kaye talking to Hansen in kitchen; text on computer screen)

HANSEN: Now presumably you counsel families and children in your position as a rabbi.

Rabbi KAYE: Sure.

HANSEN: What are you doing as a man of God, as a rabbi in this house trying to meet a 13 year old boy?

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Instead of answering, the rabbi asks to know who I am. But before I tell him, I want to ask him about those pictures he sent.

(Kaye talking to Hansen in kitchen)

HANSEN: You sent pornographic pictures. That's a federal offense right there.

Rabbi KAYE: OK, look, you know I'm in trouble and I know I'm in trouble. I am not interested in getting any further in trouble.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Then we heard that familiar excuse.

(Kaye talking to Hansen in kitchen)

Rabbi KAYE: This is not something that I have done, ever.

HANSEN: You've never done this before? You know, because I hear that a lot.

(Voiceover) You'll hear more from the rabbi later.

Others are on the way. Here comes SpecialGuy29. Earlier online he told our decoy, who is posing as a 14-year-old boy, that he's an 11th-grade English teacher. Then he told the boy that he hates condoms, but he's safe. Our decoy asks SpecialGuy29 to bring beer, and then throws in a request--a technique often used law enforcement to illustrate intent. He types, "Side garage is open. Strip to your underwear and come in. I be in mine***(as spoken)." The man says, "I don't wear underwear." So the decoy says, "Then come in naked." We never thought he'd really do it, but we were wrong. After casing our house, walking up and down the street, here he comes with the beer, and you can guess what he does in the garage.

(Kaye talking to Hansen in kitchen; person typing; truck driving up to house; chat text on computer screen; photo of John Kennelly; text from chat; Kennelly walking on sidewalk in front of house; Kennelly stripping in garage; Kennelly entering home carrying items)

HANSEN: Could you explain yourself?

Mr. KENNELLY: I'm sorry.

HANSEN: Why don't you go ahead and cover up.

Mr. KENNELLY: Certainly. I'm sorry.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) The man's name is John Kennelly. He tells me he's 29 and a bus driver, then he changes it to a teacher.

(Hansen talking to Kennelly)

HANSEN: What kind of conduct is this for a high school teacher?

Mr. KENNELLY: You know, this--I've never done this before.

HANSEN: So you just woke up this morning and said, `I'm going to get involved in an Internet conversation with a 14-year-old boy, I'm going to go to his house, strip naked and walk in with a 12-pack of beer.'

Mr. KENNELLY: No, sir.

HANSEN: What would have happened, John, if I wasn't here?

Mr. KENNELLY: I probably would have chickened out, sir.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) After doing a deeper background check on him, we find out he's neither a teacher nor a bus driver. His father says he's unemployed. And he's not 29. He's actually 43.

(Web page on computer screen; photos of Kennelly)

HANSEN: Do you know that it's illegal to have a conversation on the Internet with the intent to have sex with a minor?

Mr. KENNELLY: Yes, sir, I do.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) He says he knows it's illegal, but it appears that's not enough to deter him. Whether he needs psychiatric help or the hand of the law, he still might pose a threat to a child. Stick around, and wait till you see what he does next.

(Hansen talking to Kennelly; Kennelly in garage, carrying clothes; chat text on computer screen)

HANSEN: This is the identical screen name.

FRAG: Identical screen name on line.

DEL: He changed nothing.

FRAG: This morning he changed nothing.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Like the men you've met so far, you're about to see others who are quick to come up with a story when confronted by an adult. But what will they say when they find out they're going to appear on national television?

(Split screen showing Hansen with six different men in home; Hansen talking to Kaye)

Rabbi KAYE: Oh, no. Come on, guy.

CURRY: You'll see that confrontation when we come back. And what would drive a rabbi, or anyone, to this kind of behavior?

(Voiceover) We'll shed light on that coming up.

(Person typing)

Dr. DAVID MARCUS: Most guys don't go on the Internet and say, `You know, I'm going to decide to ruin my life today.'

(Voiceover) They're being driven and they can't stop.

(Chat text on computer screen)


HANSEN: (Voiceover) Men from all over Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC, arrived in this house after chatting about sex, thinking they were meeting a 12-,13- or 14-year-old who is home alone. Nineteen men in three days, from the down-and-out to pillars of the community.

(Various men arriving at home; man knocking on door; various men approaching home)

Mr. BENNOF: I teach school.

HANSEN: What classes do you teach?

Mr. BENNOF: Special education.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) As the men approached our undercover house, hidden cameras rolled and kept rolling as I startled them and started asking questions. Just about every one of them gave me the same story:

(Various views of men in and around home; Hansen and men in home)

HANSEN: So this is the first time.

Mr. BENNOF: Mm-hmm.

HANSEN: You know, I hear a lot of that.

Mr. BENNOF: Yeah, well, it's true.

Dr. BECK: I've never visited a teen-age boy before in my life.

ALADDIN: First time in my life that this happen.

HANSEN: First time?

ALADDIN: Yes, sir.

Mr. KENNELLY: I've never done this before.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) And some came up with more creative excuses.

(Hansen talking with man in kitchen)

Unidentified Man #7: She said she was 13. That's why I was concerned she's going to be by herself. So I was just going to stop and talk to her for a while.

HANSEN: So you were just being a good Samaritan.

Man #7: Yeah.

HANSEN: Because there was a 13-year-old girl...

Man #7: Be by herself.

HANSEN: ...home alone.

Man #7: Yeah.

HANSEN: Right.

HANSEN: And so out of the goodness of your heart, you were going to stop by...

Man #7: Yeah, it could have been anybody.

HANSEN: ...and--and baby-sit her, I guess?

Man #7: Well, sort of, I guess. We can order some pizza and we can watch a movie or something.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) This guy, named Yonis, says it's all a case of mistaken identity.

(Hansen talking to Yonis)

YONIS: It's not me, I assure you.

HANSEN: So let me get this straight. So there's another guy whose name is Yonis, right?

YONIS: I'm Yonis.

HANSEN: Who happens to--to look like you and have the same cell phone number as you, and he has the dirty conversation about sex with a 12-year-old girl, but you didn't, but and you ended up coming here anyway.

YONIS: No, no, no. I don't know what that person.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Just about every man who walked into our house said he really wasn't planning on having sex with a minor. But we'll never know what would have happened had we had not been here. Still, none of it surprises Lieutenant Jacoby of the Fairfax County Police Department here in Virginia. He says he's heard it all before.

(Various men in home; Jacoby)

HANSEN: `I've never done this before.'

Lt. JACOBY: We've heard that one. That's usually probably not true.

HANSEN: `I'm here to protect them.'

Lt. JACOBY: That's probably one of the biggest ones that we get, also.

HANSEN: `I didn't think I was actually talking to a minor.'

Lt. JACOBY: Again, that's something that we've heard quite often from people.

HANSEN: How often do you suppose we're being lied to when we hear those excuses?

Lt. JACOBY: Usually about 100 percent of the time.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) So why would a man with so much to lose risk everything to meet a child for sex? Dr. David Marcus, a clinical psychologist who treats men with sexual compulsions, says it's a powerful addiction.

(Web page on computer screen; David Marcus)

Dr. MARCUS: They don't know what'S driving them. All they know is they're being driven and they can't stop. And to risk themselves so greatly clearly shows how powerful of a ride that is.

Mr. WUNDALER: Listen, I have had a problem with an Internet addiction, talking with females.

Dr. MARCUS: Most guys don't go on the Internet and say, `You know, I'm going to decide to ruin my life today.' Most guys go on and say, `I need something to make myself feel better.' They're not conscious of what they're doing.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) And Dr. Marcus said there are different reasons men choose to meet children for sex.

(Chat text on computer screen)

Dr. MARCUS: Some--and this may be a minority--have a primary attraction to that age group. Others are more looking for a situation where they could feel powerful and then can, again, explore part of themselves, try to do things in a situation where there is a power differential.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Whatever power they thought they had, it's lost as soon as they see me. And now they're about to learn I'm not a parent or the police. First the rabbi.

(People manning control room, watching hidden camera monitors; Kaye talking to Hansen)

Rabbi KAYE: Could you please show me who--tell me who you are?

HANSEN: I'm more than happy to tell you who I am.

Rabbi KAYE: Tell me, please.

HANSEN: I'm Chris Hansen with DATELINE NBC, and you we're doing a story on computer predators.

Rabbi KAYE: Oh, no. Come on, guy.

HANSEN: You don't--you don't want to go there. You don't want.

Rabbi KAYE: You've got to stop this.

Unidentified Crew Member: Sit down. Sit down.

Rabbi KAYE: You don't have any right to...

HANSEN: You're free to leave. You're free to leave any time.

(Voiceover) Now, they knew this was all being taped for the record, and for broadcast on DATELINE. The doctor...

(Kaye leaving home; Hansen talking to Beck)

HANSEN: But if there's any else you want to say.

Dr. BECK: Nothing.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) ...the teacher...

(Bennof talking to Hansen)

HANSEN: And if there's anything else you'd like to say, we'd like to hear it.

(Voiceover) ...and the man who stood naked in our kitchen.

(Kennelly talking to Hansen)

Mr. KENNELLY: Thank you. I don't have anything else to say.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) So what happens now? As they always do with law enforcement, Frag and Del, the volunteers from Perverted-Justice, have turned over all of their online evidence, from the pornographic photos to the online chats, to Lieutenant Jacoby and his Child Sex Crimes unit at the Fairfax County Police Department.

(Del working at computer; pages of chat transcripts)

Lt. JACOBY: We are actively looking at some of these cases.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Lieutenant Jacoby says it'll be a while before we know if criminal charges will be pursued. His department did notify school officials about the teacher, and Bennof was fired. Since some of the men were in the Army and Navy, Del contacted the military and DATELINE was told that those men are under investigation.

Perverted-Justice intends to put the men's pictures and entire chat logs, including their phone numbers on

(Jacoby working; Bennof talking to Hansen; Fort Belvoir sign; blurred images of soldiers marching in parade; photos on computer screen)

FRAG: We let the citizens--we have over 20,000 members now in our forums--do their work, which--whatever they want to do. A lot of them will contact whoever is associated with that person.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Usually that means the man's employer, relatives and neighbors. Members will direct them to the chat logs and other evidence on Perverted-Justice's Web site, hoping to keep men like these from harming children.

You might think being caught on tape would be enough to deter these men from ever entering a chat room again. Maybe not. Wait till you see what SpecialGuy29 is up to next.

(Chat text on computer screen; men leaving home; Kennelly in garage of home; Kennelly leaving home)

HANSEN: How can we be certain that this guy in this chat room is the same guy who walked into this house last night naked?

PHILLIPS: Coming up, how big a threat Internet predators really are.

(Voiceover) And later, how you can keep your kids safe.

(Person typing; chat text on computer screen)

HANSEN: Do you ever think to yourself, `I can't belive how many of these people are out there'?

Lt. JACOBY: It's overwhelming at times.


Mr. KENNELLY: (Wearing a towel) I don't have anything else to say.

HANSEN: You can take the towel to the garage.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) You might think that this 43-year-old man who walked in our house naked, ready to meet a 14-year-old boy for sex, would be so humiliated after being caught literally with his pants down, that he'd never try it again. Yet we find him right back online in a chat room, the very next day.

(Kennelly walking through camera crew to leave home; Kennelly in garage; text on computer screen)

HANSEN: How can we be certain that this guy in this chat room is the same guy who walked into this house last night naked?

DEL: It's the same screen name, the same picture.

FRAG: Same i--same identical screen name he got busted of: SpecialGuy29.

DEL: Twenty-nine. He's changed nothing.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) He's spotted by a Perverted-Justice volunteer who's posing as a 13-year-old boy.

(Chat text on computer screen)

FRAG: He just checked the kid's pic.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Even these Perverted-Justice veterans find what's happening hard to believe.

(Chat text on computer screen)

DEL: He keeps talking, then that's just going to beyond comprehension.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Yet he does keep talking, and again the chat quickly turns sexual. And believe it or not, again he agrees to yet another date for sex. Our decoy asks if he wants to meet at McDonald's.

(Person typing on keyboard; chat text on computer screen; Del and Frag working on computers)

HANSEN: What do you suppose the odds are that a guy like that would agree to another meeting...

FRAG: I would have said zero last night after watching what happened.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Well, SpecialGuy29 defies the odds, and agrees to meet. But first he confirms the meeting is not about food.

(Person typing at computer)

FRAG: He really wanted to make sure it was about sex.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Sure enough, here he comes, headed towards the McDonald's.

(McDonald's; Hansen approaching Kennelly)

HANSEN: I have been in television for 24 years...

Mr. KENNELLY: I just came to get something to eat.

HANSEN: ...and I have very seldom been at a loss for words.

Mr. KENNELLY: Sir, I just came to get something to eat.

HANSEN: But I don't know even know what to ask you first.

Mr. KENNELLY: I just came to get something to eat.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) He later changes his story.

(Hansen talking to Kennelly)

HANSEN: Last night you walked into a house in suburban Washington, naked, with a 12-pack of beer, yes or no?


HANSEN: OK. Today, you're on the Internet again, you have an inappropriate conversation with a boy you think is 13, and you set up a meeting here at this fast food restaurant. What was your intention?

Mr. KENNELLY: I don't know.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) The man admits he knows what he's doing is illegal.


HANSEN: Then why do you do it?

Mr. KENNELLY: But I need help, and that's what I'm seeing a psychiatrist for.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) As incredible as this looks, that a man would do this twice in two days, Lieutenant Jacoby isn't all that surprised.

(Kennelly walking away; Kennelly driving away)

Lt. JACOBY: Don't these people know that this is illegal, and that very possibly they could be talking to a decoy or getting pulled into some sort of under investigation?

Lt. JACOBY: Well, if you look at the Internet and the amount of people who are solicited in these types of crimes, your chances of getting caught--caught are probably fairly slim.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Maybe that's why so many of the men who visited our house walked in so confidently, almost like they owned the place. Remember Rabbi David Kaye?

(Various men entering home; Kaye in home)

Rabbi KAYE: We'll see.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Despite his actions caught on hidden camera and his graphic Internet exchange, Rabbi Kaye called us several times claiming he did nothing wrong. However, earlier this week he resigned his staff position, informing his employer he was going to be featured in this DATELINE story. He also had no comment about this picture DATELINE found while investigating the rabbi's background. It shows Kaye in a group photo including two other rabbis caught and convicted of soliciting a child for sex on the Internet.

(Kaye in home; chat text on computer screen; Kaye talking to Hansen; Kaye's bio on computer screen; group photo; close-ups of Kaye and two other men in group photo)

HANSEN: Do you ever think to yourself, `I can't believe how many of these people are out there'?

Lt. JACOBY: It--it's overwhelming at times.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) In the end, most experts agree it's really up to parents to keep children safe from online predators.

(Blurred images of children)

HANSEN: If you could give parents one single piece of advice, what would it be?

PHILLIPS: What can parents do? Some tips on keeping your kids out of harm's way, when we come back.


HANSEN: (Voiceover) This public service announcement alerts parents that online predators are a very real danger, and advises them to get educated.

(Excerpt from public service announcement)

Ms. COLLINS: The technology is in your house. It's a parent's responsibility to protect their child.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Michelle Collins from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says the problem is so widespread your child could be a victim and you may not even know it.

(Collins; chat text on computer screen)

Ms. COLLINS: If there are phone calls arriving at your house that you don't know the person on the other end of the line? Is your child or teen-ager receiving gifts? Do they have a Webcam in their room that you don't--you didn't buy?

HANSEN: These are all warning signs.

Ms. COLLINS: These are all things that happen quite frequently in the many cases that we view and that we work with law enforcement on.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Collins says it's important for all of us parents to make certain computers are in open areas of our homes, not in kid's bedrooms. We should know who our children are talking to online, and closely monitor their use of Webcams.

(Person typing at computer; chat text on computer screen; Webcam)

Ms. COLLINS: (Voiceover) The problem we have seen recently: Webcams. Many kids are finding themselves in problematic situations after having used a Webcam.

(Webcam; photos on computer screen)

Ms. COLLINS: A combination of too much privacy, too much technology and at a sexually curious age can really spell a disaster.

HANSEN: (Voiceover) Child safety experts agree it's important for parents to take advantage of parental controls offered by Internet providers, and use one of the many protective software programs currently are available. And Collins has one other piece of advice:

(Web pages on computer screen; blurred images of children)

Ms. COLLINS: (Voiceover) One single, most important, most basic piece of advice to give parents is to keep the communication lines open with your kids.

(Blurred images of children)

Ms. COLLINS: If something happens online, it's more important that an adult find out about it than that the child try to handle it on their own, because those cases don't always end well.

PHILLIPS: You know, and I think most kids know not to talk to to strangers and don't, if they're approached in public. But when they're online, they're in the safety of the their home, and sometimes they let their guard down, and that's all a potential predator needs to kind of get their foot in the door and kind of establish a relationship.

CURRY: It's so frightening, Stone. And also I think that we have this idea that, you know, the people to be afraid of are going to look like bad guys. And in fact, what we've just seen is that they can look like your next-door neighbor, your rabbi.

PHILLIPS: You know, Chri--Chris Hansen has been blogging on our Web site the past few days, and we've received some e-mails, one of them coming from somebody who says that they work in evaluating and training sexual predators, and says they come from all walks of life and can look like a next-door neighbor.

CURRY: Well, it's important for parents now to be especially diligent.


CURRY: You can read Chris' blog, send him an e-mail, and get more information on protecting kids from cyberpredators on our Web site.

(Voiceover) The address is

(Graphic of Web address)


Post a Comment

<< Home