If you ever feel remotely guilty about checking your child's cell phone, this incident is proof that you're doing the right thing. And if you aren't diligently keeping tabs on your kids' text messages and social media accounts, let it serve as a call to action: a 36-year-old man's attempt to molest a 9-year-old girl was thwarted because her mother was consistently monitoring her daughter's phone.
Earlier this week in Texas, sexual predator suspect Jonathan Ashley Butler thought he was meeting the young girl for sex, but instead he was met by police and has now been charged with online solicitation of a minor. Although the girl lived with her mother, she'd often visit her father, who was a friend and neighbor to Butler.
Because Butler reached out via text message, her mom caught on quickly.
"Once she observed the inappropriate message, she continued the conversation as if to be her daughter," Sgt. Robert Eberling of the Grapevine, TX, police force told Fox 4 News. "The text messages became more and more inappropriate at that point."
Thankfully, nothing came of this would-be sex crime, but police are examining Butler's phone for any information that could lead to other potential victims. Eberling noted that this is a prime example of "why parents should be proactive and vigilant when it comes to their kids' online activities," even if they're as young as 8 or 9 years old.