BY JIM DOOLEY – Last week’s indictment of an alleged electronic sex predator demonstrates the need for parents and children to be vigilant and cautious when going online or using cell phones, Attorney General David Louie said in news conference this morning.
“There are child predators who will do bad things to our children,” Louie said.
“It used to be our children were safe in our homes and schools. Now the danger is in our cell phones,” he said.
An Oahu grand jury indicted part-time public school worker David John Lopez, 45, on a charge of first-degree electronic enticement of a child.
If convicted, Lopez would face a mandatory 10-year prison term.
Previous cases brought by the state’s Internet Crimes Against Children task force have been developed through use of undercover officers posing online as minors, Louie said.
His office has successfully prosecuted some 25-30 of those cases.
Only one other case involving a real victim has been charged here, by the Maui Prosecuting Attorney’s office, said Louie.
Lopez allegedly used electronic means to entice a 13-year-old girl to meet him for sex, according to the state.
Lopez, a part-time school lunch worker at Benjamin Parker Elementary School in Kaneohe, was a friend of the victim’s mother.
The girl allegedly reported his advances to her mother, who contacted Honolulu police.
Lopez was arrested May 19 at a Kaneohe restaurant.
His bail has been set at $40,000.
Louie said safety tips and other information about internet sex crimes can be found at the ICAC website, http://hawaii.gov/ag/hicac/.