A 39-year-old man is behind bars and facing a sex abuse charge after luring a teenager into his home by using an app on the pretense he was looking for a dog sitter, Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced Thursday.
Once in his home, of Charles Johnson of Mount Vernon solicited sex and forcibly groped the female victim, Scarpino said.
Johnson, who was charged with first-degree sex abuse (a felony), was arraigned Wednesday, May 9 in Mount Vernon City Court.
The complaint alleges that on May 3, Johnson, using the name “Chuck J.,” communicated with the victim via Rover.com, a popular pet-care hiring app.
Through messages, he lured the victim to his home, where there was no dog inside the residence. Once there, he trapped her behind a locked door, offered her money for sex acts, and exposed himself. When she refused, he forcibly groped her. The victim was able to escape and immediately called police.
Johnson was arrested by Mount Vernon Police May 8, 2018.
Prosecutors are looking into additional instances over the past three years in Mount Vernon and Yonkers where they allege the same defendant used flyers posted near schools and Craigslist ads to lure teens and women to his home to perform “jobs” for him in exchange for money, Scarpino said.
In some instances, he posted flyers advertising for a helper to videotape him during his workouts, being his “cheerleader” while he worked out, or in another instance, advertised for an “amateur painter” to paint the interior of his home, according to Scarpino.
No charges have been filed in these earlier incidents. But anyone with knowledge of similar activity is encouraged to call local police.
Johnson was remanded to jail due to three prior felony convictions. His next scheduled court appearance is May 24.
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