When Christa Shaw took her 13-year-old daughter’s cellphone on May 5, she was shocked by some of the Snapchat and text messages she read.
“I was absolutely horrified,” Shaw said. “She’s young, I could see that she was being naive, but I could definitely pick up on some things that just weren’t right.”
Shaw said the messages were full of “red flags.”
Shaw shared the messages with German Twp. Police Department and officers eventually arrested 45-year-old Michael Fowler Jr., charging him with criminal child enticement. He used instant messaging to try to meet Shaw’s daughter and a 12-year-old girl in person Saturday, according to an affidavit filed in the case.
“It was obvious that [Fowler] was trying to meet her daughter in person and did engage in conversation about a sex act,” the affidavit says.
Fowler was arrested after a planned meeting with a 13-year-old and 12-year-old girl turned out to be with police officers instead, according to the affidavit.
Police officers coordinated the meeting with Fowler after he allegedly continued to send Snapchat messages to Shaw’s daughter wanting to meet her in person after Shaw gave them access to the phone, the affidavit says.
Shaw agreed to allow officers to send Fowler a text message on Friday agreeing to meet him and saying she would also be coming with another 12-year-old girl.
“A text message was sent to Michael Fowler Jr. agreeing that her daughter and her friend would meet him in the parking lot of the Dollar General Store located at 3799 Troy Rd,” the affidavit says.
Fowler was then allegedly observed driving into the parking lot of the Dollar General and texting Shaw’s daughter a request to meet. He was then arrested, the affidavit says.
At the time of his arrest, Fowler was in possession of 38 zip ties, a pill bottle of Viagra, a sex toy, “a marijuana cigarette,” a bottle of CIROC red berry alcohol and a bottle of Crown Royal Vanilla, according to a German Twp. Police Department property receipt.
Shaw said she is thankful she went through her daughter’s phone that day in early May, as she does periodically to keep an eye on what her child is doing.
“Social media is a very dangerous thing,” Shaw said. “You have to be aware of what your kids are doing. People will prey on your children if they can find a way.”
Fowler was transported to the Clark County Jail and given a bond of $1,100. He pleaded not guilty in Clark County Municipal Court to the charges of criminal child enticement and drug abuse Tuesday.
He was not listed as an inmate in the Clark County Jail as of Tuesday afternoon, according to jail records.
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