By KOAT Staff
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ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KOAT) — It’s a nightmare for any parent.
“We don’t always think of these predators being able to get into our children’s bedrooms, but they can every day because they use phones and computers,” said New Mexico’s Attorney General Hector Balderas.
Predators are using technology to entice children.
“There is a myriad of social media platforms and websites where child predators can look for victims,” Frank Fisher, with the F.B.I.
According to a criminal complaint filed Sunday, 32-year-old David Munoz was texting a 12-year-old girl.
The girl’s father looked through her phone and found an explicit conversation about having sex with the child; it is unclear how they met.
“A lot of times, a family that finally discovers that their child is being targeted by a predator is often surprised or caught off guard,” said Balderas.
The 12-year-old’s parents texted Munoz, as the child, and arranged a meet up at the Coronado Mall on Saturday.
The parents brought their child to the food court and waited at another table.
Munoz showed up, talked with the child, and tried to leave the mall, that’s when her parents stopped him and called 911.
“The FBI has noticed an increase in these sorts of crimes targeted at children in the last couple of years,” said Fisher.
According to the most recent report by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, in 2020 there was a 97.5% increase in reports of online enticement.
The question is — what can parents be doing to make sure their kids are safe?
“I recommend that you start or create a rapport with the child and and hopefully you can get to a place where the child will trust you to go through their information,” said Balderas.
Back in 2014, Munoz was involved with a similar case involving minors.
The case was dismissed because the alleged victims failed to cooperate with the courts.
If you feel your child is a victim of a predator you can call the Child Exploitation Hotline at 1-800-843-5678.
You’re also asked to call law enforcement.
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