A Pennsylvania man used the social media video app “live.me” to prey on a local middle school girl, police say.
The girl told police that she’d been using the app to post videos of herself singing, when a male user who said he was 26 and from New Jersey started sending her sordid sexual photos and videos and asking for sexual videos of her.
Police identified the man as Danny W. Taylor, 43, of Philadelphia, and he’s now in the Douglas County jail on $500,000 bond.
Taylor is charged in Douglas County District Court with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child, an off-grid felony, for allegedly promoting a performance that includes sexually explicit conduct by a child younger than 14, according to the charges. He also is charged with one count of electronic solicitation of a child, a felony, for allegedly soliciting a 12-year-old child to commit an unlawful sex act, according to the charges.
The Journal-World requested, and recently received from the court, the affidavit prepared by police in support of Taylor’s arrest.
According to the affidavit:
The Lawrence Police Department launched its investigation in November 2017, when the girl’s mother found nude pictures and videos on her cellphone and reported the situation to police.
Detectives searched the phone and found that a user on live.me asked — after the girl told him she was 12 — if she traded “naughty pics” and sent her the first of multiple nude photos of himself. Via the app’s private message feature, the girl went on to send several sexually explicit videos of herself to the man.
The girl told detectives the male user “was nice to her and wanted to be her friend but then it ‘got more serious’ so she ignored him,” the affidavit says. He continued to ask her to take and send him explicit videos of herself, though, and she did.
He also asked her if she wanted to have sex and said they should get a hotel room for it.
Detectives said Taylor used two different user profiles to contact the girl online.
Detectives concluded Taylor was the user by matching his face and a room he pictured himself in with his face and a room in other pictures of him from his Facebook account. Police also traced social media, email and phone accounts to him and his Pennsylvania ID.
Charges against Taylor were filed Dec. 7, 2017. He was arrested on those charges in March.
The affidavit also describes other disturbing claims by Taylor that did not directly involve the girl in Douglas County.
Taylor claimed in messages to the girl that he’d had sex with children before — “girl’s younger than u,” he said — and also sent her at least 10 videos of men having sex with children, according to messages described by detectives in the affidavit. According to the affidavit, the girl told police Taylor said some of the videos were of him and that those children “wanted it.”
Taylor does not appear in a search of the national sex offender registry, and he has no prior criminal history here.
The Journal-World asked the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office and Lawrence Police Department whether Taylor’s apparent claims of child sexual abuse and child pornography are being investigated here or by any other agency.
Officer Andrew Fennelly, of the police department, said he couldn't disclose additional information about the Taylor investigation because of the pending court case.
Generally speaking, though, Fennelly said when police turn up evidence of a crime that happened somewhere else, they forward that information to the appropriate local, state or federal authorities and assist however they can to ensure cases are properly investigated.
"It is not unusual for cases involving the dissemination of child pornography to come across evidence of a crime in another jurisdiction," Fennelly said. "The information is never just ignored. If the outside agency asks us for assistance in investigating the crime, we are then able to investigate it further, or provide them all the details we can to pursue charges in their jurisdiction."
Cheryl Wright Kunard, assistant to DA Charles Branson, said in an email that the office was not able to elaborate on "the content of an affidavit associated with an open case or to respond to questions about potential criminal investigations."
With Taylor's case pending, his appointed attorney, Shaye Downing, also declined to comment for this story in response to the allegations in the affidavit.
A preliminary hearing for Taylor is scheduled for May 21.
The live.me website, liveme.com is highly populated with suggestive videos of girls and women — the app’s website has “Girls” at the top of its list of popular search topics.
Other users can post comments as videos play. A site disclaimer posted alongside each video says: “Welcome to the broadcasting room! Be nice to each other~ Live.me does not tolerate abuse, bigotry, sexual harassment, solicitation, or bullying.”