CORONA, CA — An Arizona citizen watch group that works to snare sexual predators helped lead authorities to a Corona man who allegedly attempted to lure “a 15-year-old girl,” according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Rawley was released from Riverside’s Robert Presley Detention Center the following day on $75,000 bail. He has not been charged yet, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Thursday.
The investigation into Rawley began Dec. 23 when it was learned that a minor was being sexually exploited for money via the internet, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Robert Menchaca.
“One of the men having sexual contact with the minor was identified as Steven Rawley, 35, of Corona,” Menchaca said.
As the investigation continued, a Feb. 19, 2019, YouTube video posted by the citizen watch group Arizona Predator Prevention was discovered. It showed an incident that occurred in December 2018 in Mohave County, Arizona, Menchaca said.
“In the video, Steven Rawley contacted an undercover account online, which had been set up by APP. The undercover account posed as a fake 15-year-old girl. Rawley propositioned the undercover account for sexual acts, and even after being informed several times that ‘she’ was 15, Rawley set up a meeting for sex,” Menchaca said.
The video showed APP members confronting Rawley about the online conversations in a parking lot, the sergeant continued.
After a search warrant was issued Feb. 2 at Rawley’s apartment, investigators “seized numerous electronic devices” that led to Rawley’s arrest, Menchaca said.
The Riverside County Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force has reason to believe there are additional victims in Riverside County and in Mohave County, Arizona, according to Menchaca. RCAHT is asking anyone with additional information to contact RCAHT – Deputy Mario Chavez at 951-422-1141 or 951-955-1700 and reference incident #R203250003.
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