By Nigel J. Covington III
<National Report> Its called “Perving” and its a dangerous new fad with high school aged teens that has now been reported in at least a dozen states. Perving involves teens using state sex offender online registries to locate and connect with sex offenders in their area for sex.
The first reported cases of Perving appeared in April 2102, in the San Diego area, since then law enforcement agencies in 12 states are investigating more than 80 cases involving underage minors approaching registered sex offenders who fit a specific profile to arraign a discreet sex hook up.
According to detective Riva Metsker, with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department who is heading up the investigation, Perving began as a consequence for the losers of a drinking game. During a small party attended by roughly 10 high school aged males from Oceanside where alcoholic beverages were served the loser(s) had to select someone from the California Megan’s Law Sex Offenders Registry website who lived in the area.
They then had to contact the offender either by phone, if the number was published, or if not he’d be driven to the offender’s home address where the game’s loser had to try and get the offender to agree to have sex. Actually having sex was not part of the consequence only trying to get them to agree to it is.
Meanwhile the offender is unaware that the teen’s intoxicated friends are watching from a parked car outside with baseball bats or similar type weapons in case the offender attempts to grab the kid.
Metsker added though none of the players ever entered an offender’s home or engaged in sexual contact the game was later refined by other teens who actually wanted to connect with offenders for sex but only if the offender met a “safe profile” which is defined by the teens involved.
A safe profile means the offender has no convictions for violent crimes including kidnapping, rape, force, or assault. Only offenders convicted for engaging minors for sex are considered. Metsker said all of the information gathered to determine which offenders were safe as opposed to not safe can be found online and is available to the public on most state sex offender registries.
According to the California Sex Offender Registry there are 197 sex offenders in the Oceanside area, of those 18 are currently in violation. I went to Oceanside to see if I could find someone whose been involved in Perving who would be willing to be interviewed for this story.
After speaking with scores of teens from the area at a couple of well known teen hang-outs I did find two who agreed to an interview. We are not using their real names in order to protect their identities.
David, 16, from Oceanside and Robert, 15, of Carlsbad have been friends for about three years, both claim to have been involved with Perving. “I heard about it at a party though no one admitted to doing it. Later me and Robert talked about doing it to see if we could get one of them to give us a [reference made to oral sex]. But we made several rules first to make sure we weren’t going to get someone who was really dangerous,” said David.
I asked David and Robert if they understood that the people on the sex offender’s registry are all dangerous and were placed on the registry because they presented a serious threat to kids? Robert replied, “Yeah that’s why you have to weed out the dangerous ones from the pervs who only want to have sex with a kid but wouldn’t actually hurt anyone.”
“We only look at those who’ve been convicted for misdemeanor sex crimes involving underage kids not anyone whose been convicted of a felony or rape or something like that,” David said. “Most of them are friendly and we always go with a friend in case something goes bad,” Robert added.
I asked them what if something did go wrong? David replied saying, “We always have a knife or something just in case.” “Yeah I’d never go knock on some strangers door if I didn’t have mace or a pig-sticker (knife) on me,” Robert added. “Most of these dudes are scared because they’re convicted molesters and they’re really paranoid about us setting them up, or thinking the cops are watching them, so most the time they don’t want anything to do with us… but not all of them,” said David.
I told the boys what they’re doing is extremely dangerous and brought up the fact that all of these guys are total strangers to them. I then asked how much thought they’d giving to the reality that they could knock on the wrong door one day and something tragic could happen?
Robert shrugged, David said the danger is all part of the thrill adding that as long as they remained in control they felt confident the likelihood of something really bad happening was pretty small. Robert added his two cents saying, “Most of these guys are pussies, not violent, they’re just pervs who are only interested in a quickie and not getting busted.”
Metsker said Perving is becoming a real problem in a several states. She said the internet is how kids exchange ideas with their peers and not all ideas are good ones. “They pick up on something that sounds harmless and fun when in fact they could be knocking on the devil’s door,” she added.