Prosecutors say he met them on social media and groomed them for sexual encounters.READ MORE: New Pop-Up COVID Vaccination Sites Open Across New York, Signs Of Normalcy Returning To City
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reports, some moms in Patchogue know all about the the arrest in a parking lot in their community.
“Snapchat is a thing all the kids do now,” one said.
“There’s predators, people coming online that aren’t necessarily who they say they are,” said another.
Authorities say Brendan Sullivan, a 20-year-old Suffolk County boatyard worker, used social media to exchange nude photos with 13-year-old girls, and is accused of raping two of them.
“This is a child predator, make no mistake about it,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini.
Sini says after contacting his victims on Snapchat, Sullivan allegedly drove to the homes of the young girls and dropped off vaping cartridges in their mailboxes.
In turn, they obeyed his commands for sex, prosecutors say. They say Sullivan defied a court order to stay away from the children, but while wearing an electronic monitoring bracelet is accused of continuing to contact and threaten them.
Sullivan’s parents,, who live in Bohemia, declined comment.READ MORE: Brooklyn Couple Hospitalized After Stabbing In Bushwick, Police Investigating
“He has no priors in the criminal justice system. And, again, these are allegations at this point. They are not convictions,” said Sullivan’s defense attorney Peter Mayer.
Distict attorney liaisons are working with vulnerable middle school children who may feel isolated, counseling them on avoiding the traps of social media.
“A lot of people on social media get this false perception of people being perfect,” said social media user Maddie Rose.
“I definitely have Snapchat and use it. I can see how it would be a danger for the younger population,” said social media user Chloe Knudston.
“This is a stark reminder to all the parents out there that if you can’t effectively monitor your child’s use of a particular social media platform, do not allow them to use it,” Sini said.
Computer crimes investigators believe there are more young victims and are urging them to come forward.
Brendan Sullivan is being held on $1 million bond.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
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