Police in Oregon say a 26-year-old man posed as a high school-aged student on Snapchat and Instagram to lure in two young children he's accused of sexually abusing.
Beaverton resident Lafayette Castillo was indicted Friday, January 24 on charges including rape, attempted rape, sexual abuse and sodomy, the Washington County Sheriff's Office announced, according to The Associated Press. Beaverton is a city in Washington County just west of Portland.
Castillo is accused of using the social media platforms Snapchat and Instagram to pose as a teenage student so he could talk with children online, authorities said. He then allegedly arranged to meet two victims — aged 12 and 14 — and sexually assaulted them, Fox 12 Oregon reports.
He was arrested on Jan. 15 following a months-long investigation by the sheriff department's Violent Crimes Unit, which has identified multiple alleged victims and believe he has groomed more, according to OregonLive.com.
Castillo remains in custody in lieu of $1.5 million bail, according to jail records obtained by Oxygen.com. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer who could comment on his behalf.
Anyone with information about Castillo or anyone who can help identify other potential victims is asked to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities are also cautioning parents to monitor their children's activities on social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram to ward off potential predators online.
"When we go out pretending to be a child, we are overwhelmed with adults who want to have conversations with us," Washington County Sheriff's Office Detective Mark Povolny told local outlet KATU2.
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