CLACKAMAS COUNTY, OR (KPTV) - A Clackamas County man is behind bars - facing several sex charges. Police arrested 40-year-old Vitaliy Yasinskiy Wednesday night and investigators say he used Snapchat to lure his underage victim.
"If your child has a smartphone, essentially, there's thousands of sex offenders or pimps in your living room," Detective Chad Kyser with Clackamas County Sheriff's Office's Adult Sex Crimes Unit, said.
They're sending that strong message to warn parents and children about the dangers of online predators after they arrested Yasinskiy. Kyser said Yasinsky used the Snapchat app to contact the underage victim in this case.
"The offender essentially reached out to the victim and started following on Snapchat and then that segued into having contact. you know, replying to stories," Kyser said. "Then that ultimately led to meeting up in person and that's where the crime started occurring from there."
He said Snapchat tends to be commonly used in these cases because it's harder to track.
"Snapchat, the way the platform is set up is that when you send a message, it'll instantly delete if you have it set up that way. So, retention of records presents a larger problem," Kyser said.
This has been going on for months, but Kyser said he was finally caught because the victim sought help from a local advocacy group.
"When she felt comfortable talking to law enforcement, safety compass contacted me and said, 'hey I think you want to talk to this girl'," Kyser said. "At some point, she gave a really good disclosure and then I started working forward with trying to identify who the suspect was, where he lived and just find out some info about him."
While there's not one foolproof way to keep your kids safe online, Kyser said education is the best place to start. That includes teaching them how to set boundaries.
"If someone wants to meet with you in person, we call it the make and break plans. So if you make a plan with someone you want to meet, you haven't met in person and then you break that plan, see what their reaction is to that. How do they respond to that? Do they respect your boundaries," he said.
Kyser believes there are more victims in this case. If you're a victim, you're asked to call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. However, if you're not comfortable, Kyser suggests reaching out to Safety Compass - a local advocacy group for survivors of sexual exploitation.