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Monday, January 20, 2014

Huntington Beach Teen Accused of Being a Sexual Predator

Jackson Roland Westermeyer, 18, of Huntington Beach entered his plea at the Orange County Superior Court West Justice Center in Westminster. Westermeyer is accused of exchanging vulgar photos with and soliciting sex from minors over a one-year period. The accused has pleaded not guilty Thursday to 12 criminal counts, including child annoyance, extortion, and possession of child pornography.

Police began investigating Westermeyer after receiving a tip about someone using the Kik messenger application to solicit photographs from minors, according to a release from the Huntington Beach Police Department. More specifically, police received a call Dec. 13 about a 13-year-old boy who was exchanging text messages and explicit photographs with a person he believed was a 13-year-old girl named Jesse, later identified to be Westermeyer, over the application Kik Messenger.

The victim became suspicious of Jesse's texts and informed a member of his family. Huntington Beach Police Chief Robert Handy said one of the family members began answering the text messages and arranged a meeting with the sender. The family accompanied the teen to the meeting area. Handy said the suspect arrived at the location but left before meeting the victim, though the family was able to write down the license plate number of the vehicle he was driving.

Authorities investigated the case and arrested Westermeyer on Dec. 20 on suspicion of meeting a minor for sex. Search warrants were issued for his computer, phone and electronic devices. During an interview with police in December, Westermeyer allegedly “admitted soliciting and exchanging lewd photographs with multiple juveniles,” according to the release.

Westermeyer is suspected of using social media platforms to lure victims. He allegedly adopted the account name "KatKat7777" and identified himself as a female teen named Jesse. The police chief said conversations between Westermeyer and the victims began calmly but changed in tone radically once explicit pictures were exchanged. Westermeyer is accused of threatening to post the graphic photos of his victims on social media if the victims didn't send more photos or agree to meet.


Authorities believe that at least 50 to 100 victims, including at least one on the East Coast, were contacted by the suspect, Chief Handy said at a news conference. Of the 10 who have been identified so far, nine are Huntington Beach residents. Handy said more charges could be added as authorities identify additional victims.
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