CLICK TO HEAR JACK HALL’S INTERVIEW WITH CHRIS HANSEN, TRUBLU MEDIA
The fourth of the seven suspects in the August sex sting operation in Marquette County will be profiled Thursday in the “Takedown” series, produced by TruBlu Media journalist Chris Hansen.
The seven men were arrested in early August after they allegedly showed up at a home in Forsyth Township to have sex with an underage teenager they had talked with on-line.
Problem for them is, when they arrived at the home near Gwinn, there was no teen there. Instead, Hansen was there, along with police.
In this week’s episode, the suspect was not there to have sex with a girl, as the other three allegedly were. Hansen says that 18-year-old Hunter Trepanier was there to have sex with what he thought was an underage boy.
Trepanier is from Gwinn, just moments away from where the “sting house” was located.
“He came there to meet a teenage boy and he’s only 18 himself, so it’s a different kind of case,” Hansen told RRN News on Wednesday. “When he walked in, he had a conversation with the decoy. And he was all-in, and knew that the boy was underage. He tried to tell me his story about being 17, which would necessarily be a crime. He went on to tell me how hard it is to be in a small town, to be a young man who is gay, and it find companionship.”
As you will see in Thursday’s episode, Hansen pressed Trepanier on his age.
“He swore up and down that he was 17,” Hansen said. “In the eyes of the law, that’s a big difference. He maintained that he was 17. The law enforcement officer approached him for his ID, and he lied to me. He was 18. In this case, with Hunter, it was prtty brief and direct. He knew exactly what he wanted and he came over to get it. He played the sympahty card, but that only goes so far.”
So,what’s the big deal? With the suspect being only few months over-age, and the person he wouldve have met also being a teenager, albeit younger?
“It’s not always a Romeo and Juliet type of situation,” Hansen said. “This was a man, of legal age, who knowingly went to meet with a teenager for sex. So, is it as serious as the previous case with an older (41-year-old) predator, yes. But do you handle it differently? Yes. But is there a difference between the danger posed by an 18year-old and a 38-year-old? No. The difference is, can this person be rehabilitated.”
The “takedown” program is available at www.watchtrublu.com, and the TruBlu app. The cost is $4.99 a month.
Hansen began doing predator stings like this nearly two decades ago for the NBC program “To Catch a Predator” before starting his own on-line streaming venture. The sting operation in Marquette County was coordinated through the Marquette County Sheriff’s Department, with help from several other law enforcement agencies.