BEND, Ore. - Brandon Kautz of Dallas, Oregon, was arraigned Monday in Deschutes County Circuit Court on 32 counts of luring a minor, encouraging child sexual abuse and using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.
He allegedly posed as a girl on Instagram in order to get boys to swap pictures with him. Alleged victims have come forward in Redmond and in other states, and the Redmond Police Department believes there might be more in Deschutes County.
As a parent, you might be asking what you can do to monitor your child's online activity.
"We always tell parents to interact with their kids, especially when they're on social media and talking and texting," Bend KIDS Center Prevention Coordinator Kim Bohme said Monday. "It's really important that they start dialogue with their kids, asking, 'Who are you texting? Do you know this person? Have you only met them online?'"
And it turns out this kind of scenario actually breaks laws on both ends.
"A lot of kids don't realize that sending naked pictures of themselves is actually illegal and that it's not OK," Bohme said. "They don't even have permission themselves to do that."
So how much is too much parental oversight? Children might not agree, but you should do what's in your power to protect your child from someone who may be trying to solicit pictures.
"It's OK to take children's phones and look through them," Bohme said. "Check those text messages, and get that having a phone is a privilege and not a right, so it is OK to take it back, even if our kids are putting up a fuss about it. I think it's our job to keep kids safe."
The KIDS Center in Bend is hosting an internet safety course for adults on Sunday, Sept. 7, just in time for the new school year.
If you have any information regarding the case against Kautz, call the Deschutes County sheriff non-emergency line at 541-693-6911.
To report other incidents of child exploitation, call the cyber tip line at 1-800-843-5678.
It's also the topic of our new KTVZ.COM Poll: Have you ever checked your child's apps/social media accounts? Find it halfway down the right side of our home page.