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MySpace catches Riverside predator

September 9, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Authorities are crediting the popular "MySpace" Web site with helping track down a suspected sexual predator. The suspect is a Riverside man who allegedly lured a young girl into a sexual encounter, but was caught before he could do it again.Ontario police are calling 32-year-old Celestino Paguyo of Riverside a MySpace predator. Detectives say he's trolled MySpace.com, finding at least one victim, a 16-year-old who lives in Ontario, California. Paguyo recently set up a meeting with her.

"She thought that he was going to take her to the mall, do some shopping, walking around, that was the pretense," said Ontario Police Detective Jeff Higbee. "On his MySpace account, he was 20 years old -- she's 16. He turned out to be 32 years old, twice her age."

Police say Paguyo picked the girl up and drove her to a public street where they engaged in some kind of sexual act. Detectives haven't said how long ago this happened, but Eyewitness News was told an agent working for MySpace was the first person to discover suspicious online activity, and he's the one that came forward.

"It appears that MySpace was the initial agency to discover there was a problem," said Ontario Police Officer Bill Russell. "So MySpace alerted the Center for [Missing and] Exploited Children, who then alerted Department of Homeland Security, so there are several checks and balances along the way, it sounds like, as far as when MySpace is being used."

Ontario police served a search warrant at the suspect's house. They say they confiscated three computers and a cell phone for evidence. Police say the victim is OK.

"She was scared," said Detective Higbee. "She was scared, she was a little embarrassed about what happened. But once we contacted her, she was more than willing to tell us what had happened and the whole incident in hopes that there weren't other victims, or that people wouldn't be victimized in the future."

Paguyo is facing charges for the Internet seduction of a minor, as well as child molestation. He's in jail on $25,000 bail.

 

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