* The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone with information about the Brendan J. Spaar case to call (770) 781-2200.
* The sheriff’s office offers several programs to educate parents and the public about the dangers of social media and sexting. Any group interested in a presentation can contact the agency’s community relations unit at (678) 513-5982.
A 31-year-old Forsyth County man has been charged with sex crimes after authorities say he posed online as a female teenager to acquire graphic images of young boys.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, Brendan J. Spaar of 7320 Brassfield Drive was arrested Tuesday night on four counts each of child molestation and sexual exploitation of children.
Spaar, who is being held without bond at the Forsyth County Detention Center, also faces three counts of computer pornography.
According to the sheriff’s office, a new law provides that anyone who electronically transmits sexually explicit images of a child younger than 16 can be charged with child molestation.
The investigation dates back to February, when a Forsyth County middle school administrator alerted the sheriff’s office to possible “sexting.”
Investigators, who continue to work the case, determined that Spaar posed as the fictitious 16-year-old Kinsey Spencer from South Forsyth High School.
Sheriff’s Investigator J.D. Roe said in a statement that “this girl does not exist.”
“We have checked with the school and no person by this name has ever attended South Forsyth,” Roe said. “We are not sure of where he got a girl’s photo to post on his site.”
Through his social media page, Spaar posed as Spencer to meet boys. He offered to send them explicit photos of Spencer if they gave him their cell phone numbers.
“Then Spaar enticed the boys to send sexually explicit photos and video of themselves to him through their cell phones,” Roe said. “The boys thought the images were going to Miss Spencer.”
No physical contact ever occurred between the four victims that have been identified, Roe said. Spaar’s social media site has been taken down.
“There could be other victims we are not aware of,” Roe said. “If anyone recognizes the name that Spaar was posing under and had contact with him through this fictitious site, please contact the sheriff’s office.”
The case, Sheriff Ted Paxton said, is an example of “how predators can prey on innocent young people.” He encouraged parents to monitor their children’s cell phone and social media activity.
“Please urge your children to not e-mail or text people they do not know,” Paxton said. “Sending explicit images of yourself to persons through electronic media, most notably ‘sexting,’ can result in serious consequences, including jail time.”