The Maine State Police caused an uproar on social media on Monday after video and images emerged showing law enforcement apparently disregarding disturbing evidence obtained by civilian sleuths — a.k.a. Predator Poachers — that appeared to show a Maine man soliciting sex from what he believed was a 13-year-old.
According to Alex Rosen, the investigator and social media personality behind Predator Poachers, he provided evidence to Maine law enforcement that the Maine resident had also confessed to sexually abusing minors.
Rosen’s Rumble show is a modern version of Chris Hansen’s “To Catch a Predator,” the popular primetime investigative drama that documented Hansen confronting men as they arrived at what they’d been led to believe were sexual encounters with minors.
Unlike Hansen, though, Rosen prefers to lay the traps himself rather than letting law enforcement officers bait the honey pots.
“We had a catch today in Maine where the PREDATOR admits to real life victims, child porn, an attraction to infants, and sexual intent with a 13-year-old decoy,” Rosen said on X.
“All of this was bundled into a 2 hour long confession, and Somerset county [sheriff’s deputy] didn’t want to even view the evidence. Instead they let a dangerous predator drive off,” he said.
Whereas Rosen’s fans and many Mainers see the text messages and videos as clear evidence that the man in question has confessed to child sexual exploitation and was planning more child sex abuse, the MSP contend that the evidence Rosen has obtained is essentially unusable because he’s not himself a member of law enforcement.
In a letter from the Maine State Police (MSP) that Rosen published on X, the police contend that the information Rosen provided is tainted and cannot be used to take any kind of action against the alleged child predator.
According to the letter from MSP Lt. Jason Richards, the MSP would only be able to use the man’s shocking confession if Rosen agreed to turn over all of his cellular and computer devices and all of his device and online account passwords.
In a phone interview, Rosen said his investigative work has led to arrests in 44 different states, including an arrest last year in Boothbay Harbor.
“In February of last year, we caught a guy in Boothbay Harbor, and now he’s a registered sex offender. Due to our evidence. Like, they called us to testify in court and everything,” Rosen said. “We were subpoenaed and our evidence was used.”
Rosen said he’s had information about potential child predators disregarded by law enforcement before, but he said more often than not officers will accept information from him and pursue the lead.
Remarkably, the letter concludes by stating that the MSP are actually going to investigate Rosen to ensure that he didn’t violate the rights of the man who allegedly agreed to meet a 13-year-old for sex.
“A joint independent and proper investigation into this alleged conduct is underway by law enforcement at this time to ensure the rights of all involved,” Lt. Richards wrote. (emphasis added)
🚨 LOL! Maine State Police sent me a letter basically confirming they won’t even look at our evidence/video regarding a very sick child predator we confronted yesterday.
Then at the end of the letter, they claim they’ll be “doing a proper investigation into our alleged conduct… https://t.co/kQWvv23z98 pic.twitter.com/4yfPjqm5rK
— Alex Rosen (@iFightForKids) January 29, 2024
By Tuesday, Rosen’s posts had garnered well over one million views on social media, with most users expressing disbelief and frustration that cops would let the target of Rosen’s sting go free.
Rosen acknowledged that some other citizen sleuths who similarly pursue would-be child sex offenders will engage in blackmail and other illegal behavior as part of their videos and investigations.
However, he said he’s always careful to follow the relevant statutes to ensure that law enforcement can use the information he obtains from suspected predators.
Instagram messages Rosen shared with the Maine Wire show that the man in question sent direct messages on Instagram to a decoy account he believed to be operated by a 13-year-old girl from a nearby town.
In ensuing messages, the man sent unsolicited pictures of his genitalia, requested explicit images of the 13-year-old, and waged a sustained campaign to sexually target the decoy.
“Your the center of my whole world,” he wrote, after asking for explicit photos.
In another message thread, the man confesses to being “addicted to child porn.”
“I’ve always wanted to see what a 1 to 12 year old girl looks like naked and I’ve always wanted to know what it feels like to f*** a 5 to 13 year old girl,” the man wrote.
As of Tuesday morning, the man who wrote those messages was not in police custody.
UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon, the MSP released the following statement: