Snapchat gender swap filter helps student catch cop looking for teen hookup

Those Gender Swap Filters Sent Snapchat’s Downloads Through The Roof

A California police officer was arrested last week after authorities say a college student used a Snapchat gender-altering filter to trick him into thinking he was a 16-year-old girl who'd agreed to meet up for sex. Then he used the photo in a fake Tinder profile for "Esther". Davies is an officer with the San Mateo Police Department.

"Esther" got a message from one man saying, "Are you down to have some fun tonight?".

Once on Kik, Ethan, posing as Esther, told the man that she was only 16.

'We started texting on there, and it got a lot more explicit, ' Ethan said.

On May 11, Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers received a tip from Ethan, who explained he had been posing as a 16-year-old.

The man, later to be identified by investigators as Robert Davies, was reveled to be a San Mateo police officer who had no issues with Esther's age.

"Davies then asked her to switch to Snapchat where they also discussed her being 16 years old, and chatted about engaging in sexual activity", the San Jose Police Department said.

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The Snapchat app is displayed on the home screen of an iPhone, alongside a booking photo of 40-year-old Robert Davies.

He is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Davies was placed on paid administration leave following the incident, as per the San Mateo Police Department. He now faces a charge of contacting a minor to commit a felony, as per the report.

The department adds, "While the criminal investigation is still running its course, this charge, if true, is disturbing and the conduct alleged violates the very values and principles of this department".

Officers from San Jose Police's Internet Crimes Against Children arrested Davies on June 6. "I can assure you that we remain steadfast to this commitment to serving our community with "Professionalism, Integrity, and Excellence". While countless people have used the filter to see if their gender-swapped pictures are popular on social media, Ethan told NBC's Bay Area affiliate that he was inspired to try to catch a potential child predator after a friend told him she was molested as a young girl.

'Through the messages, on objective I would just get these little bits of information about him so it would be easier to track him down, ' Ethan told NBC. "He just happened to be a cop", he told NBC.

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