A 20-year-old Buffalo man is currently in federal custody and facing multiple charges -- including production of child pornography and sex trafficking of minors.
“From a law enforcement perspective this defendant has been on the radar since July of 2014,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron Mango told 7 Eyewitness News.
Robert Pritchett was arrested by Cheektowaga Police and charged with sexually assaulting and raping a 15-year-old girl in the parking lot of Walden Galleria.
Pritchett met that victim after allegedly receiving sexually explicit pictures from her 14-year-old friend.
Those pictures were exchanged using the “Kik’ application, an app similar to Facebook where users can send and receives pictures and videos. This app is used by more than 240 million people.
According to prosecutors, the 15-year-old victim agreed to meet Pritchett in an attempt to get him to delete the pictures of her 14-year-old friend. Instead Pritchett is accused of forcing the teen to have oral sex and sexual intercourse with him.
Right now the FBI is not releasing a photo of the suspect. A representative with the agency says they are working gather all of Pritchett’s aliases, screen names and online identifies in hopes that others will recognize him and come forward.
Even after an arrest in 2014, investigators say Pritchett’s list of victims continued to grow.
In November of 2015, prosecutors say Pritchett befriended a 17-year-old girl he met online.
“She thought she was dealing with somebody who was going to take her away from the troubled life she had in New Jersey and in reality she was dealing with the defendant who simply wanted to sexually exploit her,” Mango says.
Federal agents say when she arrived in Buffalo that 17-year-old had sex with the suspect and was later forced to place ads on sexual websites and have sex with the men who responded.
Mango says a search of the suspect’s phone revealed hundreds of images of underage girls – girls they believe may have also used this popular app.
Below is a list of profiles that Pritchett was allegedly using on MeetMe.com, one of several sites the FBI says he was a member of:
- James Heart
- James Cooper
- James Matthew
- Tyler Games
- James Allen
- Jamez Tommy
- Gabriel Michaels
- Jess Allen
- Thomas Allen
- Matthew Allen
- James Church
- Faith Anderson
- Max Heart
Smartphones can make it easier for parents to keep tabs on their children, while also making it a whole lot harder as well. Many apps like Kik, Whisper, ask.fm are popular with tweens, teens as well as sexual predators.
But there are ways parents can keep a close eye on their child's cell-phone activities.
Here are some programs to consider.
- Teen Safe: http://www.teensafe.com/?sid=700000001175420&cid=71700000012046564&gclid=CLq7rpD93MoCFQMMaQodFDUI8
- Web Safety: https://www.websafety.com/
- Sex Offender Search: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.fsp.android.h&hl=en