A local investigation revealed that the oft-maligned MySpace networking web site might have played a role in the dealings of an alleged sexual predator arrested Sept. 4 in the Five Cities.
Lt. Jim English of the Grover Beach Police Department stated that a three-week investigation found that 22-year-old Aaron Klock allegedly used MySpace to solicit sexual rendezvous with possibly several teenage girls. Police said Klock also allegedly met some underage girls while working as a lifeguard at the Mustang Waterslides in Arroyo Grande.
Law enforcement arrested Klock after a party Labor Day weekend where he reportedly entertained several underage girls and served them alcohol on suspicion of sexual penetration with a foreign object and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The courts released him later that day on a $50,000 bond. The purported victim in the sex charge was 14 years old.
Immediately after the arrest, police said they planned to continue interviews with Klock's other alleged underage contacts and expected to file more charges. English mentioned several other leads but, so far, the department has released no new information. Police encouraged anyone with information to contact detectives.
The MySpace web site one of two major international forums for social networking recently came under fire for popping up in police reports across the country. Concern for the safety of children even prompted legislative discussion in states like Michigan, where officials continue to pursue a law banning convicted sexual predators from using MySpace or similar Internet resources.
Earlier this summer, site administrators hired Microsoft Corp executive Hemanshu Nigam to oversee security and safety issues, but the reports continued to roll in.
A request with the MySpace corporate office to discuss the site administration's safety and security efforts wasn't answered.
Roughly 60 million people teenagers and adults use the free service.