Omegle Website Used by Men, Including SoCal Teacher, to Troll For Teens, Prosecutors Say | The Informer | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly
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Sex Crimes

Omegle Website Used by Men, Including SoCal Teacher, to Troll For Teens, Prosecutors Say

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Wed, Apr 11, 2012 at 7:01 AM

click to enlarge GURGLE UK
  • Gurgle UK
What if we told you there was a website where you could chat about sex with random teenagers?

You'd answer that you're totally creep'd out. Then you'd take a shower hoping to soap off any residual sleaze. Correct answer.

Unfortunately, one website has turned up in two sex crime cases involving children, including the story of a Southern California teacher accused of exchanging explicit photos with teen girls online:

The site is called Omegle. It puts you in touch with a random stranger right away. When we tried it we were connected to someone named "anuscake!!!"

The NSFW, pre-arranged topic of conversation: "I quite enjoy urinating whilst my phallus is within the confines of a anus." Really.

click to enlarge omegle_chat_site.JPG

The site's terms of use include this:

... Do not use Omegle if you are under 13, or without a parent/guardian's permission if you are under 18.

That doesn't seem to be stopping kids from using it, however.

San Bernardino middle school teacher Eugene Ballantyne is believed to have used the site in a case that accuses him of exploitation of a minor and production of child pornography.

According to San Bernardino Sheriff's Department inmate data, he was being held without bail.

ABC News says he allegedly ...

... used omegle.com to meet four underage girls, including a 13-year-old New Jersey girl, with whom he exchanged sexually explicit photos via cellphone.

He has pleaded not guilty and was scheduled to go to trial May 1.

But Ballantyne isn't the only suspect accused of using the site to troll for underage victims: Indiana's Richard Leon Finkbiner, 39, got in touch with at least one teen victim that way, according to allegations summarized by ABC. He allegedly ...

... used the website to contact a 14-year-old Michigan boy and another in Maryland, whom he then secretly recorded performing sexual acts during video chats. He allegedly threatened to post those videos on gay porn sites unless they made more videos for his private use. Both boys initially went along with Finkbiner's demands and delayed telling their relatives or guardians, prosecutors said.

The site's founder was ID'd as 19-year-old Oregonian Leif K-Brooks, who had said previously that he would work with law enforcement to keep creepers away. But he put responsibility for kids' behavior in the hands of their parents:

I would strongly advise parents to inspect any website before allowing their children to use it.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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