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Sheriff: 'Sexting Case Highlights Need For Online Safety'

The Hennepin County Sheriff's most recent newsletter.

Editor's Note: The following was taken from the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office Nov. 28, 2012 newsletter.

Sheriff's Office Reminds Residents of Online Safety Needs After Sexting Scandal

The Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a 52-year-old man from Champlin after he texted a teenage girl and offered to pay her for sex.  Mark Jerome Anderson (6/23/60) was formally charged with prostitution of a known juvenile, a felony. 

The Sheriff’s Office and Dayton Police began investigating the case when authorities learned that a man had been “sexting” with the victim. Anderson had met the victim in an online chatroom and then they began exchanging text messages. 

During texting, Anderson and the victim discussed their ages and details of where to meet each other in person. Anderson offered to pick up the victim from school and pay for sex.  The meeting did not take place.

The Sheriff's Office is reminding parents and caregivers to talk with children and teens about safe social media use and check on their social media usage.

 * Never share personal information online (name, address, telephone number, school name, parents’ names) or your friends’ personal information.

 * Never share your Internet passwords, except with your parents.

 * Never meet face-to-face with people who you met online.

 * Talk to your parents about what you do online.

Sheriff Stanek Urges System Change for Mentally Ill Inmates

Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek is urging that changes be made to the system that deals with mentally ill inmates. The Sheriff is concerned that mentally ill inmates are remaining in the jail for too many days or weeks -- even after it has been determined that the inmate should be transferred out of the jail and into a more appropriate mental health facility.  The Sheriff's Office has alerted the state to transfer these inmates but the lack of housing in appropriate state facilities leads to the inmates remaining in the jail.

In the photo, the Sheriff is describing the issue to the Sheriff's Citizen Advisory Board.

On November 25, Sheriff Stanek wrote a commentary for the StarTribune in which he described the challenges concerning mentally ill inmates in the jail.

The Sheriff's Office operates the largest jail in Minnesota. It's estimated that as many as 30% of inmates suffer from mental illness. Sheriff's Office personnel receive extensive training in custody and care issues for mentally ill inmates.

Congratulations to Citizen Law Enforcement Academy Graduates

Congratulations to the graduates of the 2012 Fall Citizen Law Enforcement Academy.  The Sheriff's Office invites citizens to get an inside look at how law enforcement works by offering a series of classes.  Participants received tours of Sheriff's Office facilities including the jail, Sheriff's Crime Lab, and court security. If you are interested in attending future academies, please go to the Sheriff's Office website, www.hennepinsheriff.org for an application.

David F November 29, 2012 at 02:19 PM
There was never any followup on the sexting incident at Valley View Middle school in Edina. Instead of using this incident as an educational opportunity the school system just decided to hope it goes away and people will forget about it.
Ryan Gauthier November 29, 2012 at 05:31 PM
I've reached out to the district for more information on that one, David. I'll be sure to share anything I hear back.
Debra k December 07, 2012 at 04:36 AM
I had not heard about this incident prior to reading Edina Patch. I am disappointed that the school district did not address this with parents. Although the story states only "a few" students were involved, my guess is that it reached far beyond. This is an opportunity for students AND parents to learn how to handle these situations. As we try to educate and protect our kids, I find it irresponsible that the people we entrust to teach our kids did not see this as something to notify parents about.

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