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An HIV-positive man has been arrested after allegedly raped a 12-year-old girl who he tracked down using Snapchat’s “Snap Map” location feature, it has been reported.
The girl was reported missing from her home in Detroit, Michigan, in the US, by worried parents on Wednesday, August 19.
They told police their daughter hadn’t been seen since 11.30am that morning and were concerned that she had been chatting to an older man through social media.
Officers located the child at 5pm that day. She told them that she was on her way to meet her boyfriend, who she met online when she was 11.
The girl claimed she had been having regular sex with the man who told her he was 19 but she thought might be older.
The alleged attacker, Anthony Alvin Hodges, is actually 35.
Police have since established the girl and who she thought was her online boyfriend had been having sex for several weeks.
Hodges has since been arrested and charged with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, a count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under 13, two counts of knowingly engaging in intercourse with the intent of inflicting an uninformed partner and a count of being a habitual offender, officials said.
Detective James Thorburn told Fox 2 Detroit: "It's our belief and our understanding at this point that he found her due to the location sharing ability of Snapchat; that's how he was able to pinpoint her home.
"These platforms allow for interaction between people that normally would never have interaction – they'd never come in contact with each other.”
He added: "We very well believe that there are other victims out there. He's had other allegations against him in the past and I would find it hard to believe there aren't other victims out there.”
In February, Hodges was sentenced to two years in prison for allegedly attempting to infect a sexual partner with HIV in 2016 but was then paroled.
Hodges is currently being held without bail in the Oakland County Jail on a probation violation charge, according to The Detroit News.
Detective James Thorburn has warned parents to check their kids' Snapchat and make sure location services are in "ghost mode" to prevent anyone from seeing their location.
"Obviously we can't watch things 24/7 that's reasonable and I understand that, however, every once in a while – check-in. And see who they are talking to and where they might be going," he said.
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