Navy chief petty officer under investigation after appearing in YouTube child sex sting video
A Coronado-based Navy petty officer is being investigated by the service after he was caught trying to meet a 14-year-old boy for sex at a Lemon Grove grocery store in August, according to the Naval Special Warfare Command.
The sailor, a 51-year-old information systems technician, was lured to the date with what he thought was a child by the vigilante group People vs Predators Association in August. A video of the encounter was posted on the “People vs. Preds” YouTube channel on August 6.
The investigation was first reported by ABC 10News San Diego on Wednesday.
The Union-Tribune does not name the sailor because he has not yet been charged with a crime. According to the sailor’s military biography, he is not a Navy SEAL but works in an NSW support role in Coronado.
A Naval Special Warfare spokesperson confirmed the sailor was under investigation, but referred further questions to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. NCIS did not immediately respond to questions Thursday.
The sailor was confronted inside the Lemon Grove Albertsons on Broadway, where text messages show he had arranged to meet someone he believed to be a 14-year-old boy, the video shows. He then leaves the store and, for 36 minutes, answers nagging questions from the People vs. cameraman. Preds on the messages exchanged on the Grindr dating app that rushed the date.
The cameraman says in the video that the sailor planned to take the boy to his home at Otay Ranch. The sailor suggested having sex with the boy as part of a father-son role play, according to text exchanges shown in the video.
“I feel awful, I feel embarrassed,” the sailor says in the video. “I don’t want to go to jail, I don’t want to be arrested…it’s wrong, I made a horrible mistake.”
Public records show the sailor lives in eastern Chula Vista, across from a preschool and about 300 yards from an elementary school. The Navy did not respond to questions about whether he received any restrictions on digital communications or contact with children.