TARGET 8: Documents say teacher enticed minor using Snapchat

2 months 1 week 5 days ago Wednesday, February 06 2019 Feb 6, 2019 Wednesday, February 06, 2019 7:13:00 PM CST February 06, 2019 in News
By: Monica Harkins, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

FULTON - As the digital age advances, connecting with friends on social media is easy, but the caveat is that there are more outlets for sex offenders to reach minors.

In Fulton, court documents said Teneil Stevenson enticed a student via Snapchat at Fulton Middle School. He coached track and taught at the school during the 2017-2018 school year. He was the student's track coach.

According to the probable cause statement, Stevenson began with casual messages focusing on the student's track performance during the spring of 2018.

The report states that, later that semester, Stevenson sent the student a photo of himself fully clothed, that appeared to be taken in Fulton Middle School. He circled his groin in the photo and included a caption on the photo referencing his groin, the statement said. 

One Snapchat feature that makes the application unique is its disappearing photos and messages. That makes it difficult to get hard evidence in an enticement of a minor case.

However, message recipients can elect to take a snapshot of the picture or message, which could later be used in a case.

KOMU 8 News attempted to reach Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Wilson about whether the student had snapshots of the incidents reported. KOMU 8 News called Wilson three times, but he never responded.

Boone County Sheriff's Department Cyber Crime detective Tracy Perkins said it's better if there are snapshots, but law enforcement can still work with companies like Snapchat to secure data from their backlogs.

"But if we don't know about the incident when it does happen, then time is in essence and that information is more likely going to be wiped away from the server," Perkins said. "So, it's kind of a double-edged sword."

In Stevenson's case, court documents show the Snapchat messages to the student became more suggestive and sexual in nature in the summer of 2018.

Meanwhile, Stevenson switched jobs from Fulton Middle School to Southern Boone High School to coach football for the 2018-2019 school year. At the same time, the student graduated from middle school to high school.

The probable cause statement said the student didn't report the enticement until Aug. 31 when Stevenson messaged them saying he hoped to see them at the Fulton versus Southern Boone High School football game.

Perkins said Missouri law has not caught up with digital media, as far as enticement of a minor charges go. 

"We're actually pretty far behind when it comes to law regulations in regards to certain types of crimes," he said.

In the case of enticement of a minor, the law only protects minors under the age of 15 enticed by a person over the age of 21. So, there is what Perkins calls a gray area.

Perkins said she wishes her advice to parents could be to leave phones out of the question all together, but she said she knows that's unrealistic in 2018. 

Instead, parents need to educate their child on the realities of social media, she said, even about less serious offenses, like cyber-bullying.

"Transfer that information back over to the child and let them know that there's laws that says you can't do this, you can't do that," Perkins said. 

She encouraged parents to create an open space so the child feels safe to report it if a crime does take place. 

Stevenson was placed on administrative leave from Southern Boone High School on Sept. 4 2018.

On Oct. 16, he pleaded not guilty. He formally resigned from the school a week later. 

His trial was set for Feb. 20 in Boone County.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Children from the Jefferson City and Columbia area showed off their businesses during the Jefferson City Children's... More >>
2 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 5:17:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Parks and Recreation department held its annual "EGGstravaganza Egg Hunt" at Douglass Parks on Saturday afternoon.... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 3:02:00 PM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
MOBERLY- The Moberly Police Department arrested a man on Friday afternoon after they received information from the FBI in Omaha,... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:08:00 AM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
CALLAWAY COUNTY - A Fulton man will be in jail for the next 25 years after he pleaded guilty Friday... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, April 20 2019 Apr 20, 2019 Saturday, April 20, 2019 8:47:00 AM CDT April 20, 2019 in News
GASCONADE COUNTY - The sex of human remains found in the Gasconade River have been identified as male, according to... More >>
23 hours ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 8:09:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Sophomore forward Jontay Porter officially declared for the 2019 NBA Draft via Twitter Friday. pic.twitter.com/AHj67OWmqi... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:35:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in Sports
ROCHEPORT - Missouri State Parks said a tunnel on the Katy Trail will be closed for at least another month,... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:32:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — High winds caused two power outages Friday evening that affected more than 1,500 customers, Columbia Water & Light... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 6:23:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — The Missouri Secretary of State’s office awarded a “Spotlight on Literacy” grant to Daniel Boone Regional Library for... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 5:46:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A well-known radio personality in St. Louis is facing sex-related charges. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 4:52:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
FULTON — A building on the Missouri School for the Deaf's campus may become the new location of a county... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 3:44:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Boone County Office of Emergency Management apologized Friday after accidentally sending out numerous severe weather alerts from... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 3:03:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Attorney Stephen Wyse wants Governor Mike Parson to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the relationship and alliance... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 2:39:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Board of Education approved a new compensation plan at Thursday's regular work session. The board voted... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 2:38:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - With April 20, or 4/20, falling on a weekend this year, the Missouri State Highway Patrol is preparing... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 1:56:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's House speaker said he doesn't plan on taking further action to discipline a House member... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 1:16:25 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
FARMINGTON (AP) — The wife of a Missouri Ku Klux Klan leader admitted Friday to fatally shooting her husband. ... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 12:48:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri and Chancellor Alexander Cartwright released the fiscal budget for 2020, including a reallocation of... More >>
1 day ago Friday, April 19 2019 Apr 19, 2019 Friday, April 19, 2019 12:43:00 PM CDT April 19, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 66°
8pm 65°
9pm 62°
10pm 58°
11pm 57°