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App helps catch Michigan man who sent explicit videos to 11-year-old girl

WHECTV
Updated: January 17, 2020 05:39 PM
Created: January 17, 2020 05:36 PM

IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. (WHEC) — A Michigan man admitted to sending explicit videos to an 11-year-old girl from Irondequoit, after a four-month investigation tracked him down last year.

News10NBC's Andrew Hyman learned a district security program helped stop the videos from reaching the student.

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The East Irondequoit Central School District says it was first notified of the videos last February by the district's security director.

We've learned 36-year-old Anthony Vanderlugt sent the videos to the student's school-issued iPad.

But, before it could reach her device, the software program, Gaggle, stepped in and immediately stopped the clips.

A district spokesman says the software constantly scans for explicit keywords and images and immediately blocks them.

From there, the district immediately contacted Irondequoit police, who launched an investigation, which spanned between here and Michigan.

While the district says it’s not clear how Vanderlugt tried to reach the student- the software did its job.

"It's horrible that stuff like this is out there, but it's nice to know the mechanisms that are in place to try and keep it from causing harm do work," Director of Communications Dave Yates said.

Yates says students do take the pads home with them, but they do not have the power to download any apps.

Back in December, Vanderlugt was sentenced to several years in prison for the case.

When asked why it took this long for word to get out, Yates said once the district made police aware of the videos, it then became a law enforcement matter.
 


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