Courts: Missionary sent home after police discover he had sexually exploited over 50 teen girls

Utah

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SOUTH JORDAN, Utah (ABC4 News) – A South Jordan man has been arrested after police said he threatened dozens of teen girls into sending him nude photos of themselves.

According to charging documents, Gabe Ryan Gilbert, 19, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on nine felony charges after a $500,000 arrest warrant was issued on Monday.

Documents state an agent with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force started investigating Gilbert in August 2018. A report had come into their department that an individual had been extorting minors over the internet.

Parents: How to recognize sextortion and minimize chances of your child becoming a victim

One of the teens reported she was using Snapchat to talk to “Ethan Parker” after he friended her on the app. He started to make comments to her such as “Tbh I’m horny asf would you be willing to help me out?” The girl told him no and in response, “Ethan” said, “Help or I will expose you. You have 1 minute to send a bra pic”. The girl again told him no. “Ethan” then told her to send a “nude boobs pic” and told her she had “1 minute”. When the girl asked how he would “expose” her he responded with “I will Photoshop your face onto nudes and send them out”, documents stated.

The girl reported the incident to ICAC.

During a search of Snapchat activity for “Ethan”, investigators discovered 50 potential victims of this same kind of sexual extortion.

During one of the conversations “Ethan” threatened another girl, that he would ruin her life by exposing nude photos of her if she did not record nude videos of herself and send them to him. The girl complied with his request and sent a video. Police said the girl appears to be between the ages of 14-16 years old.

In another conversation with a 14-year-old girl who refused to send the photos, he said: “I hope your house has good security…I’m sending out your location and username…to as many creeps on the web as I can find??”

The girl responded “I’m not scared of your 8-year-old self.” to which he responded with “Yeah but a 56-year-old rapists or human traffickers you might.” The girl told him she was calling police.

Another girl reported when she told him no he said “I have your location…Creeps can come to your house…Then you will be giving in to creeps forcing you in person?????”He then sent several screenshots of the girl’s exact location at her home.

In March, 2019, police went to the home where Gilbert lives. They discovered Gilbert left in October 2018 to serve a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Detectives asked the family to contact Gilbert while he is in his mission so they can talk to him.

Gilbert’s mission president was contacted and during an interview with him, they made the decision to send him home but his mother told detectives she had spoken with an attorney and she would not tell him any more information or where they can find him.

Even after telling the mother she could not “conceal” him from authorities, she continued to refuse to help identify where they could find him or allow them to speak to him.

Agents showed up at Gilbert’s home to try and located him but his mother answered the door and said she wouldn’t speak to them without a lawyer.

The detective told her he was not there to talk to her, but to talk to Gilbert. She then repeated she was “remaining silent” and she had consulted with an attorney in Las Vegas. The mother continued to refuse to connect investigators with her son.

Charges against Gilbert were filed in 3rd District Court on Monday and a $500,000 warrant for his arrest was issued.

Gilbert was then booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on five first-degree felony aggravated sexual extortion of a child and four second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. He was bonded out of jail the same day.

The Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tip line is 801.281.1211.

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