A college student seeking to catch potential sex predators on the Tinder dating app pretended to be an underage girl using Snapchat’s new gender-swapping filter. The student has reportedly caught a police officer who was allegedly seeking to engage in sexual activity with the fake 16-year-old girl.
A 20-year-old San Francisco Bay Area college student named Ethan used the new gender-switching Snapchat filter to pose as a 16-year-old girl named Esther on the dating app Tinder, according to a report by CBS News.
The report added that the student created the Tinder account as a 19-year-old girl — due to minors being prohibited from creating an account on the dating app — but told the alleged sexual predator that “Esther” was only sixteen years old.
He used Snapchat’s “gender switch” filter to pose as a 16-year-old girl online, and take down a police officer allegedly looking to hook up. He tipped off the PD, and the officer was arrested.
Our exclusive interview with the man, and why he did it, at 11 on @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/VaGtg14uLL
— Ian Cull (@NBCian) June 11, 2019
As a result, 40-year-old San Mateo police officer Robert Davies was arrested last week on a charge of “one count of communicating with a minor for the purposes of committing a felony,” according to police.
Davies had reportedly acknowledged that he understood he was communicating with an underage girl, yet continued to speak with Esther about engaging in sexual activity.
Davies was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on a $50,000 bail, as first reported by the Bay Area’s local news station, KORN4, which added that in addition to Tinder, the student had also communicated with the San Mateo officer through Snapchat and Kik.
The student reportedly came forward as a “concerned citizen,” alerting authorities of the potential sexual predator in last month, and after San Jose police launched an investigation, it was confirmed that Davies in fact was a police officer in San Mateo. Search warrants were then issued for Davies’ home and electronic devices.
“This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a Department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole,” said San Mateo police chief Susan Manheimer in a statement, “As San Mateo police officers, we have sworn an oath to serve and protect our communities.”
“I can assure you that we remain steadfast to this commitment to serving our community with ‘Professionalism, Integrity, and Excellence,'” added the police chief.
Davies is currently on administrative leave at the San Mateo Police Department.