A NewChannel 11 investigation catches Lubbock sex offenders hanging out on My Space, the same place where kids go. They were looking for new friends and now some of them are back behind bars. NewsChannel 11's Cecelia Jones shows us how she hunted them down and what parents should look out for in this week's NewsChannel 11 Investigates: My Space and Sex Offenders.
Why did we choose My Space? Because it is one of the most popular website out there. You, as a parent, should know what is going on, possibly in your own home.
Here's 20-year-old Bryan Dupuy. He wants to meet "that lucky lady to steal his mended heart." Sounds like a normal guy on My Space. But what you don't know, he's a Lubbock sex offender, convicted of indecency with an 8-year-old girl.
NewsChannel 11 spent weeks digging through 250 convicted Lubbock sex offender names and searching to see if their faces would pop up on My Space. We found six of them with active accounts during our investigation. If you haven't heard, My Space is a popular online meeting site used by millions and geared toward kids and teens.
"Be careful, because you don't know who you're going to meet on there. Mostly, sex offenders are likable. They have good social skills," said Jennifer Mora, Supervisor for Lubbock and Crosby Counties Adult Probation.
Mora says it is her job to keep close tabs on these sex offenders. We showed her and Probation Director Steven Henderson our list of sex offenders using My Space and they quickly recognized the names.
25-year-old Patrick Wong says he likes basketball and is on My Space for dating and friends. What it doesn't say is that he was convicted of indecency with a 10-year-old girl. Wong is now in jail. "He was allowed to be on the computer for certain purposes, school related purposes. My Space was ruled not school related. It was reported to the courts and they (a judge) will decide how to handle that," said Mora.
So until they decide, we had questions for him first. "Patrick, do think people should be upset that a sex offender, like yourself, is on My Space?" "No ma'am," he replied as he was shuffled out in handcuffs.
Remember Bryan Dupuy? During our investigation, he got caught using My Space. Now he is in jail. Both he and Wong are waiting to see if the judge revokes their probation. "If they're revoked, they can go to the pen," said Mora.
Henderson says sex offenders under state supervision are not supposed to even be on My Space. "The Internet is a feast for sex offenders. They can find anything they want. It stimulates them, and what's scary, once they get stimulated they get bolder in what they do. That is why we keep up with them," said Henderson.
As we marked the names off our list, we were left with four men we still had questions about. So we contacted the parole department about Paul Gutierrez, a man convicted with indecency with two girls, ages 11 and 17, who is also on My Space. Gutierrez's page did not have much information about himself which makes you wonder why he had it in the first place. Gutierrez is now back in jail after we tipped off authorities.
We leave you with this; three more Lubbock sex offenders are still using My Space free to meet your child if they want. Thursday on NewsChannel 11 at 10, we show you their crimes and who they are after on My Space.
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