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December 10, 2014
Toronto dad poses as preteen daughter to catch online predator
Ohio man who cyber stalked 12-year-old Toronto girl sentenced to 22 years in jail.
By Manisha Krishnan, Toronto Star
When Cliff Ford learned the address of the Ohio man who’d made sexual advances on his 12-year-old daughter on the Internet, his instinct was to drive there and burn the house down.
“As a father, you want to kill the guy, but at the same time that’s not doing justice,” said the 37-year-old Toronto resident.
Instead, Ford gathered information about the man by posing as his daughter online; he then turned over his findings to police.
As a result, Nicholas Bowers, 31, was arrested at his home near Akron, Ohio, and charged with child exploitation. He was recently sentenced to 22 years in jail.
“Countless children have been saved from the predatory behaviour exhibited by Mr. Bowers,” said Sgt. Eric East of the Springfield Township Police Department.
In early January, Ford, who has the email accounts of his two children synced to his phone, noticed a subject line on a message intended for his daughter that read, “Hey sexy.”
He immediately took over the account and discovered the sender was a man his daughter had met on gifboom.com, a social networking site that allows users to upload animated images of themselves. Browsing through their chat history, Ford could see the man had been complimenting his daughter’s appearance.
“He was basically grooming her,” he said.
Ford pretended to be his daughter, hoping to discover the man’s identity. Meanwhile, the chat content escalated and Bowers, believing he was talking to Ford’s daughter, sent a video of himself masturbating.
“That showed exactly what his intentions were,” said Ford. “It was sickening.” [READ FULL STORY]