Police are now looking into a thread of Whatsapp messages that were taken between adult men and teenagers and pre-teens.
The conversations had been captured on screen and posted on social media. One of the threads are between a 35-year-old man and an 11-year-old girl, and another is between a man who admitted he was married and a 15-year-old girl.
In one of the message threads, the 35-year-old man was trying to convince the 11-year-old girl to meet with him. He convinced the girl to leave her home and he would come and pick her up. The conversation continued until a parent intervened and demanded that he disclose where he got the pre-teen’s number. He said he got it from a dating site.
In the other thread a man who admitted that he was married was trying to convince a 15-year-old girl to meet him at a KFC outlet on Saturday.
The Children's Authority has also become involved in the matter and is advising parents and guardians to be aware that “sexual grooming is a reality and a crime.”
A release from the Children's Authority, said sexual grooming occurs when an adult befriends a child by building a close relationship in order to gain the child's trust, with the intention of later engaging the child in sexual activity.
The crime is punishable by a TT$50,000 and imprisonment for ten years or, a fine of TT$ 100,000 and imprisonment for up to 20 years, according to the Children’s Act, 2012.