Mount Vernon resident Charles Johnson pleaded guilty to attempted sex abuse on Thursday, Jan. 17, after he lured a teenager to his home through the app on the pretense of looking for a sitter for his dog.
On May 3 last year, using the alias “Chuck J.,” Johnson made contact with his victim using rover.com, a pet-care hiring application. Through a series of messages, the teen was lured to his Mount Vernon home.
Once in his home, Johnson trapped the teenager behind a locked door, offered her money for sexual acts and exposed himself. When his victim refused, Johnson forcibly groped her and continued to demand oral sex.
The victim was able to escape the home and notified police. Johnson was arrested by members of the Mount Vernon Police Department on May 8. Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. noted that there was no dog in the house at the time of the assault.
At the time of his arrest, prosecutors said they were looking into additional instances over the past three years in Mount Vernon and Yonkers where they allege Johnson 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 last year. 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.
Johnson has been detained since his arrest, and Scarpino said that he has three previous felony convictions on his record. No return court date has been announced for Johnson’s sentencing.
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