PASADENA, Texas — Authorities set up a sting operation using a Facebook account to capture an Indiana teenager who was allegedly soliciting sex online from a minor in Pasadena, according to court documents.
Zachary Alexander Janusz, 18, was charged with online solicitation of a minor.
According to an affidavit from the Pasadena Police Department, a mother first found out that her daughter was sexually active, then discovered that adult men had been soliciting sex from the girl via the chat/messaging section of Facebook.
The mother took over the account, and then turned over to police archived documents showing that her daughter had communicated with someone named “Zach Janusz.”
Police asked the mother if they could assume the identity of her daughter using the Facebook account and she agreed. For several months, investigators would check the social media account to see if anyone had tried to engage in a chat session.
On March 14, police said that a person named “Zach Janusz” tried to contact the victim through the Facebook chat.
Police, pretending to be the 13-year-old girl, began chatting with Janusz, who stated that he was 18 years old. Police stated that they were just 13 years old to Janusz.
Janusz said that he wanted to date the 13-year-old, records state. Police asked where they would go on a date, and Janusz said that they would go to his house.
Janusz then allegedly communicated in a sexually explicit manner what he planned for their in-person encounter. Police, posing as the minor, reaffirmed that they were just 13 years old.
The suspect said that he did not care about her age. Police then asked Janusz for a picture, who responded by asking for a nude picture in return.
Once again, police reaffirmed that the girl was only a minor. Janusz responded by offering to send a nude photo of himself first, which he did.
Police then used Zanusz’s personal information on his Facebook account to find a phone number for him in Indiana.
Investigators contacted Zanusz by phone, and he confirmed all his personal information in their conversation, documents state.
Zanusz admitted to police that it was he who was chatting with them on Facebook. Pasadena police are coordinating with authorities in Indiana on the case.
Bail for Zanusz was set at $30,000.