Facebook identifies alleged child rapist; man arrested

Credit: KIRO7.com

Credit: KIRO7.com

Here's evidence Facebook monitors the videos and photos you post: A Washington man is under arrest, suspected of raping a 14-year old girl he met on the social media site.

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Thomas Mahoney, 24, of Bothell, appeared by video in a Snohomish County courtroom Wednesday afternoon, hours after being booked into the Snohomish County Jail in Everett on suspicion of child rape and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

According to Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office documents, Mahoney met a then-13 year old girl on Facebook last year. The social media company contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after noting that one of their subscribers “had engaged in chat with a minor and that the chat content indicated that he had met the minor and engaged in sexual activity.”

The complaint was documented in CyberTips and passed on to local police. Within days, authorities arrested Mahoney.

In September 2016, “when she was 14 years of age, she met with him in Bothell and they had sex” at his home, according to investigators.

The documents reveal the girl’s family moved out of state, so “Mahoney travelled to California” in May and August of 2017, when he allegedly raped her again.

According to investigators, “Mahoney videotaped” the encounters.

Those videos --and explicit Facebook messages between Mahoney and the girl -- are now evidence.

In court, Judge Tam Bui ordered Mahoney’s bail be set at $150,000 and issued a protection order to keep him away from the girl should he bail out.

“I’m not going to specifically delineate the kinds of contact, whether it be electronic, person, phone; whatever method,” Judge Tam Bui told Mahoney.

“It is no contact.”

Mahoney has no criminal history, and documents reveal the girl at first claimed she was 19 years old.

However, Facebook has turned over to investigators messages where Mahoney allegedly refers to the girl as “this hot little 14 year old” while describing their sexual contact.

Mahoney has not yet been charged.