Snapchat Gender Swap Filter Helps Student Catch A Paedophile Cop

Clay Curtis
June 14, 2019

The student, a 20-year-old named Ethan from the San Francisco Bay Area, used the feature - which transforms male faces into female faces - to disguise himself as a 16-year-old girl named Esther, he told NBC Bay Area.

Speaking to NBC Bay Area, he said: "I believe he messaged me, 'Are you down to have some fun tonight?' and I made a decision to take advantage of it".

'Are you down to have some fun tonight?' the man asked. "It just happened to be a cop".

Posing a woman named "Ester" on Tinder, the San Francisco Bay Area student eventually caught the attention of local police officer Robert Davies.

His age did not bother the cop, according to the San Jose Police Department.

Ethan explained he continued to speak with Davies on a messaging app called Kik, still posing as Esther, and told him "she" was only 16.

All along, Ethan told NBC Bay Area, he was mining Rob for small nuggets of personal information, so that it would be easy "for the police to track him down".

The two exchanged messages for more than 12 hours.

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The student turned his phone on airplane mode which stopped alerts to Davies that their conversations were being screenshotted.

The screenshots, which Ethan described as "explicit", lead to Davies' arrest last week on suspicion of discussing sexual activity with a minor on social media.

San Jose police looked into it. It wasn't clear from court records if he has an attorney. The conversation moved into engaging in sexual activities, authorities said.

In a statement on the San Mateo Police Department's Facebook page, police chief Susan Manheimer said the conduct, if true, "is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole".

In a statement released last week the San Mateo Police Department said it put Davies on paid administrative leave as soon as it found out about the investigation.

- A tipster used a gender-swap filter to catch an alleged would-be child predator, resulting in the arrest of a police officer. It's unclear whether any graduated to outright catfishing - a common romance scam in which people create fake personas to trick their targets into online relationships.

In a conversation with NBC, Ethan said he was inspired to take things into his own hands when a close friend revealed she had been molested as a child.

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