By Melony Roy
BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — An anonymous social networking app has been linked to the alleged sexual abuse of a Bucks County teen.READ MORE: 6 Pedestrians Hit By Driver While Leaving Chester Church, Police Say
Bensalem Police say a 16-year-old girl was sexually assaulted after meeting up with a 42-year-old man she met on “Whisper”– an anonymous location-based app.
“She was actually trying to run away from home and he had friended her on the network and he was trying to help her…so she thought, when I’m sure his motive was only to sexually assault this individual,” says Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran.READ MORE: 21-Year-Old Dead, 2 Injured During Saturday Night Shootings Across Philadelphia
Michael Dougherty of Levittown is being held in Bucks County prison pending more charges.
“Criminals now don’t have to leave the confines of their house to try to victimize people,” Harran says. “Then when they do leave, they meet them and half the work is done. They’ve got them brainwashed that they’re their friend and then these people are getting assaulted.”
Rob Zidar, the co-founder of “Third Parent” — a Flemington, NJ-based service that will audit your teens online activities — says when you combine location and anonymity it can be a really dangerous mix:MORE NEWS: Philadelphia Kicks Off First Parade Celebrating All Winter Holidays Following First Omicron COVID Case
“People can see where you are because location is public info and people can guess what kind of person you are is this a teenage girl or a young boy if they’re a predator looking to make contact with someone like that, it can happen and it looks like that’s what happened in this case.”