Local News

Police: Apex Man Met 14-Year-Old Through Phone Chat Line

Posted November 21, 2006 12:20 a.m. EST
Updated November 21, 2006 12:10 p.m. EST

— An Apex man has been charged with statutory rape and is being accused of using a telephone chat line to meet a 14-year-old girl.

According to investigators, Malcolm Brewster, 30, claimed he did not know the girl was under the legal age for consentual sex when he met her on the Quest Chat Line.

The girl's mother found out about the alleged incident and reported it to police, investigators said.

Authorities also said the girl might not be the first girl that he has met through the service.

"He told me that he met many girls on this teen hotline, more than he could count," said Apex police Detective Worth Brown.

Brown said the hotline is advertised locally as a teen chat line. A prerecorded message when calling the chat line, however, advises that all callers must be 18 years old or older. The message also states: If you are not, hang up now. We do not prescreen, and we assume no liability when you meet someone through this service."

Apex police said the alleged victim, a student at Panther Creek High School in Cary, has met several men on the chat line, ranging in age from 25 to 32.

Speaking at an unrelated event Monday night, Attorney General Roy Cooper told WRAL that the state is working hard to catch sexual predators before they strike.

"Now we are training police officers all over the state using SBI agents to go out and catch these predators before they have a chance to hurt our kids," Cooper said.

Meanwhile, Apex police are asking the Wake County District Attorney's Office to investigate the Canadian-based company that operates the hotline.

Quest supervisor Wayne Bucus told WRAL Monday that he was unsure whether the telephone chat line was advertised locally as a teen chat line. Bucus referred WRAL to a "risk manager" who, as of Monday night, had not returned a message requesting an interview.

Brewster is being held on $90,000 bond.

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