Union Dale man targets teen through Facebook

BY STACI WILSON

A 40-year-old Union Dale man told police an “addiction” to the social media site Facebook drove him to ask a 14-year-old female to text a sexually explicit photo of herself to him. The Susquehanna County teen did not comply with his request.

James Burrows was charged with corruption of a minor by Tpr. Mark Keyes in connection with the Dec. 27 incident. He waived his Jan. 20 preliminary hearing in New Milford District Court.

District Attorney Jason Legg said, “Over the past several years, it has become apparent that the use of technology as a predatory tool has spread to our rural county. Unfortunately, this trend includes the solicitation of nude photographs from young people that are then transmitted over cellphones and onward from there, as well as the outright solicitation by predators through the use of social media tools.”

According to the affidavit, the teen’s mother reported that her daughter had received sexually explicit messages from a man they did not know.
In the message exchange between Burrows and the girl, the man asked her age; “14” she answered. According to the affidavit, Burrows then made sexually explicit remarks to the girl and asked if she wanted to trade pictures, and then provided his cell phone number to the girl.

Police contacted Burrows on the number he had given to the teen and he agreed to talk to police at the Gibson barracks.

According to the affidavit, Burrows admitted to sending the message and told police that it was a random, isolated incident.

He also told investigators that being called into the police station was a “wake up call.”

Burrows admitted he did not know the victim of her family but had “friended” her on Facebook when he found her on another person’s list of friends on the social media site, something he said he frequently did.

According to the affidavit, Burrows asked police if there was help for people addicted to Facebook, adding that he felt he was addicted.

Legg said, “Parents need to be ever vigilant against predators who use technology to entice and ensnare children. Parents need to monitor not only the activities of their children, but also the devices that they are using and the social media sites they are visiting.”

“This most recent case provides a good example of the dangers that our children face in cyberspace,” Legg said, “and that a proactive parent can assist in protecting not only their own child, but also other children who would otherwise fall prey to these kinds of predators.”