An Avon man, who is accused of using a smartphone app to start a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy from Bloomfield, appeared in court Wednesday.
According to police, Andrew Quinn, 25, contacted the teenager through a smartphone app called Grindr, which helps users search for "gay, bi, curious guys" in the surrounding area.
Police said Quinn and the teenager agreed to meet at the Bloomfield Library and then, Quinn took him back to his house in Avon where the two had sex.
According to court documents, police got involved two days later when the teen went to an area hospital with suicidal intentions.
The sexual encounter spread at the teen's school and students started making fun of him, according to court documents.
When police questioned the two they determined the teen pretended to be 18 to create the profile on the app. Court documents state the sex was consensual and the two never actually talked about the teen's age.
Quinn turned himself in to police on Nov. 29 and was charged with second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to minor.
He was scheduled to be arraigned at Hartford Superior Court on Wednesday. Quinn was not present at court, but his case was continued until Jan. 9.
Connecticut State Police investigators say there are hundreds of apps out there like Grindr and with the rising popularity of cell phones, these mobile sites pose a new threat to children.
"Its a little bit more real time, it allows you to be on the go and still connected. It potentially allows your GPS position to be tracked," said a state police official, who could not be named. "There's been a dramatic rise in the number of crimes that are involved using cell phones, smartphones and mobile devices."
State police officials said they've been monitoring mobile apps for illegal activity. The officer said parents should have full access to the phone bill and know what behavior to look out for.
"If your child doesn't want to show you their phone readily, or if they need to clear out a message first before they'll hand it over, that's reason for suspicion that something may be afoot," the state police trooper told Eyewitness News.
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