INDEPENDENCE, Ky. — The case of Taeylor Enzweiler isn’t unique, Kenton County Prosecutor Rob Sanders said Thursday. According to him, the only limit to the number of online predators arrested by police is time and manpower — never a deficit of people attempting to prey on children over the internet.
“Whenever they’re doing these cases, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel,” he said. “They’re just catching these guys one right after the other.”
Enzweiler, 22, was arrested Thursday on felony charges of attempting to arrange a sexual liaison with a juvenile via social media. The juvenile in that case was actually an undercover detective, but police believe Enzweiler may have real victims whose stories have not been made public.
“Anytime we catch somebody who’s using an electronic device to contact a child we’re always concerned that this isn’t the first time they’ve done it,” Saunders said.
Alex Clark, who lives in the same small, close-knit Independence subdivision as Enzweiler, said she never would have guessed someone who would solicit sex from children lived in her quiet neighborhood.
Neither would most people, according to Saunders. That’s why it’s more important than ever for parents to be sure their children know how to use social media safely.
“Number one, they have to pay attention to what their child’s online activity is,” he said. “These days, just about every website, app on your phone, games that they play — even online gaming, especially — they have chat functions.”
Those spaces, which parents might not think to check the way they would check text messages or WhatsApp, can provide relative privacy for predators.
Parents should also ensure their children’s social media profiles don’t contain identifying information another person could use to find them in real life. That means more than disabling location tagging on Twitter and photos — it can also mean not listing the child’s school, sharing outdoor pictures of their home or posting pictures of pets wearing the family address on a collar tag.
“There should never be anything in a child’s profile that makes it very easy to identify that child, makes it easy to locate that child, tell what school they go to, tell where they live,” Sanders said.
The Kenton County Police Department offers internet safety classes for children and parents to better protect themselves. Anyone interested can call 859-392-1952 for more information.
Anyone aware of other children who may have been victimized by Enzweiler should call 859-392-1952.