13-year-old Columbia County girl lies about age on MySpace.com, meets 30-year-old Aiken County man for sex

By: Kristen Cosby
By: Kristen Cosby

It's a popular website for teenagers...and predators: MySpace.com.

And an Aiken County man is headed to prison after meeting a Columbia County girl on the site and having sex with her.

But investigators say the girl was also not being truthful and was posing as an older woman.

News 12's Kristen Cosby explains the dangers of meeting on-line.

30-year-old Steve Harrison of Beech Island thought he was talking with a 29-year old advertising executive on MySpace.com.

When he met this person, she was only 13.

It's all the rage among young people: MySpace.com.

They post pictures, hobbies and personal information, and meet others who have done the same.

FBI investigators say a Columbia County teen lied on her Space and said she was 29 years old.

She was actually 13, and talking with 30-year-old Steve Harrison from Beech Island.

They decided to meet last Halloween.

So Harrison picked the girl up from her home in Columbia County.

Investigators say Harrison admitted when he saw the girl he knew she was underage, but took her back to his Aiken County home and had sex with her anyway.

The investigation began after the middle school student told her friends about this, and they told a school counselor.

School officials did the right thing notifying law enforcement immediately," FBI agent Ed Reinhold tells News 12.

Things went wrong on both sides of this story, but FBI officials say predators finding victims on websites like MySpace.com is growing.

They deal with three to four active cases each day.

"There's a lot of talk about privacy and 'you're invading my privacy'. Well as a 13-year-old you really don't have that right, and it's the parents' responsibility to make sure you're safe," Agent Reinhold says.

Experts say keep your family computer in the living room where you can see what your child is looking at. Don't keep it in your child's bedroom, where they can shut the door on what's going on.

Experts also say not to let your child talk with anyone you don't know.

Don't let them accept calls from people you don't know.

And don't let your child put a picture on the Internet.

Harrison pleaded guilty to enticing a minor across state lines for illegal sexual purposes.

But because of the teenager's lies, the judge only sentenced Harrison to three years in jail.

Prosecutors said in federal court yesterday that as recently as this week the girl was still on MySpace.com, now saying she was 21 years old.


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