Sting triggers investigation of CSUSM employee

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Sting triggers investigation of CSUSM employee

The CSUSM administration is currently looking into alleged illegal activity committed by a CSUSM employee.

The CSUSM administration is currently looking into alleged illegal activity committed by a CSUSM employee.

Photo by Antonio Pequeño

The CSUSM administration is currently looking into alleged illegal activity committed by a CSUSM employee.

Photo by Antonio Pequeño

Photo by Antonio Pequeño

The CSUSM administration is currently looking into alleged illegal activity committed by a CSUSM employee.

Antonio Pequeño IV, Editor-in-Chief

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An anonymous group by the name of Creep Catchers Unit (CC Unit) has spurred an investigation of a CSUSM employee who allegedly engaged in inappropriate contact with someone posing as a minor.

In an Oct. 18 email, Vice President of Student Affairs Lorena Checa confirmed the investigation is under way.

Checa’s email said that the campus administration will work with authorities and follow applicable laws and CSUSM policies. She said that the administration will ensure that “appropriate due process takes place.”

The CC Unit founder, an anonymous 20 to 21-year-old male that goes by the moniker of Ghost, triggered the investigation by utilizing the online dating application, Grindr.

An online video of the incident showed Ghost posing as a 13-year-old male who matched with the university employee. Chat logs included in the video show an exchange of messages arranging a meeting at Carlsbad Plaza.

The video shows the meeting between the employee and Ghost, whose face is not shown. After posing as a 13-year-old for a few minutes, Ghost drops the act and confronts the employee about the Grindr messages.

It is unclear how the CSUSM administration was made aware of the video. UPD referred questions about the incident to the Office of Communications which offered no additional information.

In a private online interview Monday, Ghost said the unit’s “main goal is to change the law so predators receive [much] harsher and stricter punishments. Save children from predators who prey for victims. Expose reality to the community and show the epidemic.”

A page on bitchute.com contains the CC Unit’s collection of more than 50 videos depicting Ghost posing as a minor and setting up meetings with unsuspecting users of dating apps.

“When it comes to safety, I always take precautions before busting these predators,” said Ghost. “I do my homework and research their background and do as much research as possible to see who they are before confronting. I usually have witnesses with me to have some sort of safety guards if needed.”

Ghost, who does not include law enforcement in his stings, declined to comment about the ethics of his operations or his thoughts on due process.

President Ellen Neufeldt held an open forum Tuesday, Oct. 22, where students could share their concerns about campus matters. When the incident was raised, Neufeldt said, “It’s painful, it’s hard…” She emphasized that when campus members are accused of illegal activity, the administration aims to ensure the safety of all involved.

“We go through all appropriate investigations and all appropriate due process…we do that for students, we do that for staff, we do that for faculty,” she said. Neufeldt told students that certain information cannot be shared due to privacy concerns related to human resources protocols and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

“There’s two tracks, one is law enforcement and one is HR. Our UPD right now, as I understand it, is taking the lead [and] working with all applicable authorities,” said Neufeldt.

Faith Garcia, a third-year-student, gave Neufeldt a petition which demands the removal of the campus employee from their position at CSUSM. As of the publishing of this article, the petition has been online for several days. Its creator is not identified.

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