JOHNSON CITY, Tennessee (WJHL) – Two Johnson City lawyers are raising the alarm in the community about a man who sent them troubling text messages. They said this type of activity could create safety concerns for the Johnson City community.
Kara Page and JR Cook are partners at Page & Cook Attorneys at Law. A few days ago they received the texts from a man.
Their contact began after the man contacted Cook’s wife, who is also a lawyer. The man left a mailbox with lewd sexual comments. He asked her if she wanted a boyfriend and then commented on underage girls.
Page said after hearing the message, she found the man’s phone number by reverse phone number lookup and called him.
“He kept asking me if I would meet him, if I wanted to hang out,” said Page. “In the end he said, clearly, it’s okay if you’re under 18.”
Cook then took action himself and began texting the man telling him he was an underage girl in hopes of attempting to document the man’s request to document what he believed was underage and provide evidence.
“It just turned around and he thought I was a 16-year-old girl and asked her for sex,” Cook said.
Cook said the man sent him several nude photos.
During an interview with WJHL, Page decided to text the man “Hi” to see if he would reply. Within seconds, Page received an answer with the question: “How, what are you doing?”
A few text messages and two minutes later the man replies: “How old are you” and asks the age of the fictional girl. Page says she is 16.
The man then says, “Do you want to have sex,” which does not surprise Page and Cook.
They reported the incident to Johnson City Police, but they found that there is not much that the police can do about this situation.
The Tennessee Minor Induction Code law states that charges will only be brought if the perpetrator sends messages to a child or a police officer who is acting as a decoy.
Cook said he would like to see the law changed to include cases like his.
Johnson City Police did not want to comment on this particular case but said they are following up on these types of cases.
“Any citizen who thinks something is inappropriate or abnormal can contact us 24/7 to report anything we can investigate,” said Detective Justin Jenkins.
Cook warned to keep an eye out for the man they said was roaming Johnson City.
He said he even had a personal confrontation with the man and believes that he is a danger to the community.
“You should keep a close eye on your children because they could be your daughter, niece, granddaughter, friend. You have to be very careful, ”said Cook.
WJHL did not include the man’s name or picture as he was not charged with a crime.