BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Monroe County sheriff's deputies arrested four Bloomington men Wednesday on charges of child molestation related to a 13-year-old girl they allegedly met through the "Whisper" app.
In January, authorities at a Monroe County elementary school learned one of their 13-year-old students may have been involved in a sexual relationship with an adult man.
Upon questioning, the student told investigators that she had in fact had sexual encounters with a 25-year-old man last fall. She said the man knew her age at the time of the encounters.
The girl subsequently told investigators that she had met three other adult men at their Bloomington area residences. According to the sheriff's department, the girl was able to provide "a tremendous amount of detail," which led to physical and corroborating evidence.
At least one of the sexual encounters is alleged to have occurred in an elementary school parking lot.
Investigators executed search warrants and three homes and confiscated cellphones in connection to the case.
On Wednesday, the sheriff's department announced it had arrested four Bloomington men on charges of child molestation as a result of the investigation:
- Evan M. Miller, 25
- George W.R. Pearcy, 21
- Mathew J. Filipek, 23
- Thomas A. Snape, 23
Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swain issued a warning to parents to be mindful of anonymous social media apps like Whisper.
“Parents should be mindful that with the anonymity which this particular app provides, the presence of it on their child’s electronic devices, should be suspect," Swain said. "There is an extremely high risk potential for tragedy to happen when technology such as Whisper can facilitate a child’s reckless decisions. Constantly monitor and guide your child’s activity on whatever electronic devices you allow or know them to use.”