Minnesota man uses Snapchat to elicit child porn from teenage girls

Many adolescents who create an account simply enter fake birthdays with no issue.

Shutter Speed/Unsplash

A Minnesota man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to production, attempted production, and possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Peter James Monson of Cottage Grove, 38, allegedly portrayed himself as a 16-year-old girl named “Brianna” on Snapchat, a social media app particularly popular among adolescents and teenagers.

Court documents say he used this fake profile for several months to receive sexually explicit content from minor girls. The pretense was that other users would view the content and rate them as “princesses.”

“In order to participate as a ‘princess,’ Monson used ‘Brianna’s’ profile to instruct the girls to follow certain rules, including creating and sending images and videos of the girls nude or engaging in sex acts,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

The man is also said to have secretly recorded with his iPhone an eight-year-old girl getting dressed.

Prosecuting the case against Monson is federal attorney Miranda Dugi. Monson’s court appearance follows the conclusion of an investigation into him by the Cottage Grove Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Minneapolis and Philadelphia divisions of the FBI.

Snapchat, released in 2011, allows users to send pictures, videos, and text chats that “disappear” shortly after the recipient opens and views them. Although the app’s rules state that the minimum age to create an account is 13, Snapchat has no mechanism for verifying the true ages of its users. Many adolescents who create an account simply enter fake birthdays with no issue.

Because of Snapchat’s lack of user verification and its more “private” nature of communication, adolescents are acutely vulnerable to sexual predators like Monson and their fake accounts. Young users can also easily consume “public” content created by online publications that encourage sexualization.

In March 2020, the National Center on Sexual Exploitation called on Snapchat and Teen Vogue to quit encouraging teenagers to “create child sexual abuse material (child pornography) by sexting during quarantine.”

Teen Vogue, a far-left rag of a “magazine,” had been using Snapchat’s “Discover” feature, the app’s repository for various news and video content, to provide “tips and tricks” on how to “sext” while local and state governments were instituting widespread lockdowns at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Like anything worth doing, sexting takes practice,” one screenshot of the Teen Vogue “story” reads.

“Sexting should make you feel good. Sending someone details about what you want to do to them and getting back even more details about what they want to do to you should be fun, easy, and ultimately joyful. Anything less than that isn’t worth your time,” another screenshot reads.

The “Discover” feature has also come under fire on many previous occasions for its promotion of videos and news stories that openly attempt to normalize abortion, homosexual relationships, transgenderism, and extremist movements like Black Lives Matter.