The mother of an 11-year-old girl in St. Petersburg, Florida launched her own sting to prove that a man was “preying” on her daughter.
ABC News reported that the mother was told she needed more proof before police could make an arrest even though her daughter had been receiving pornographic text messages from the adult man.
The man in question, Michael Bradley, 23, had friended the young girl on Facebook. Shortly after, the girl gave Bradley her phone number.
Police say that over a few weeks, Bradley’s text messages began to get increasingly inappropriate and even graphic.
“He asked whether she was still a virgin, wanted sex for her birthday and she’d skip school to meet him,” said police.
According to ABC News, “It got out of control very quick, just out of control,” the mother, who asked not be identified to protect her daughter, told ABC News affiliate WFTS-TV.”
The mother reportedly called Bradley, who denied her allegations claiming it was his own 15-year-old son who had sent the texts.
Police told ABC News.com:
“Just because someone texts something inappropriate doesn’t mean there’s sufficient evidence for an arrest. First, we have to establish the suspect is the person sending that text. Just because it’s a particular phone number doesn’t suffice. You need more evidence.”
When the mother was told this, she knew she had to do something to make sure that her child was going to be safe.
The mother then began pretending to be her own daughter and continued to have conversations with Bradley.
When he asked for a photo of her, the mom got creative and set him a photo from a Target advertisement.
The mother goes on to tell ABC Newsthat was the point in which Brandley sent her a full nude photo, and when that still wasn’t enough, she asked for a photo of his face.
St. Petersburg police spokesman Michael Puetz then said
“When she received the photos with the suspect’s face, that changed the dynamic. Now we could identify the individual and make an arrest.”
It was after that point that Bradley was charged with 16 counts according to ABC News, including unlawful use of a two-way communications device and distributing obscene material to a minor.
Once again, a mother’s love knows no bounds! This mother really did go the extra mile by setting up her own sting to protect her daughter.