Man indicted for using Facebook to entice underage girls
On Your Side newsroom
Credit: Canyon County Jail
A 20-year-old Caldwell man has been indicted by an Ada County grand jury on charges of lewd conduct and enticement of children over the internet.
Alex E. Rangel is currently being held in Canyon County Jail on a separate felony enticement charge involving a 14-year-old girl from Caldwell.
Rangel is charged in Ada County for having illegal sexual contact in March with a 14-year-old girl he met over the internet.
The Ada County charges include that case and an additional case involving a 13-year-old girl Rangel tried to entice through Facebook in November.
According to police, Rangel was in contact with more than two dozen young girls through Facebook, with additional charges likely if police find more victims.
“Since Facebook has been around for so long — and other web sites seem to get more headlines on these types of cases — parents forget that Facebook is a dangerous place for young teens to be interacting without parental guidance and oversight,” Ada County Sheriff’s Detective Ryan Pacheco said. “This is a classic case of an adult scrubbing Facebook looking for young girls to take advantage of.”
Rangel used various social media programs such as me.com and Kik Messenger to start conversations with underage girls claiming he was younger than he actually was.
Rangel in once case, got a girl to leave her house where he picked her up, gave her marijuana and alcohol, and had illegal sexual contact with her-including contact when she told him to stop.
Detectives began their investigation in late May after being contacted by a third party. They later discovered Rangel continued to send the 14-year-old girl messages after the March incident — and that he was in contact with a number of other young girls.
By early December, detectives were posing as a 13-year-old girl and conversing with Rangel over the internet.
Detectives arrested Rangel Dec. 10 at a home in the 17000 block of Mountain Springs Avenue in Caldwell on the Canyon County charge.
Rangel is also charged with a felony count of delivery of a controlled substance to a minor and a misdemeanor count of providing alcohol to a minor.
The crime of lewd conduct is punishable by up to life in prison. An arraignment hearing in Ada County’s 4th District Court will be set for later this winter.