A web group is combing the nation attempting to catch supposed
The group posts personal information, pictures and electronic
messaging logs of men duped into believing they were having sexual
correspondence with young girls.
The Web site is perverted-justice.com and the Web site’s members
profiled more than 20 men from Colorado and one individual from
Fort Collins. Nearly 600 logs are in the PJ database.
Primarily in chat rooms, undercover busters pose as young girls
about 13 or 14 years old and trick men into believing they are
interested in meeting for sex.
Joe Parris, a supervisor and special agent for the Federal
Bureau of Investigation’s pressroom, said it is important to notice
that the Web site and law enforcement use different techniques in
catching those associated with pedophilia.
“The FBI is aware of the existence of Perverted Justice and what
they report to accomplish through outing people as sex predators on
the Internet,” Parris said.
The creator of the site, Xavier Von Erck, who would not confirm
this as his real name, dismissed claims that his site is illegal
and denies it is a form of entrapment. “My mom calls me this
(Xavier) but this is not what the government knows me by,” Von Erck
said. “If it were illegal I would be in jail or sued by now.”
The Web site is not affiliated with any type of child advocacy
program, nor has it been backed by any state or federal agency, Von
Since its creation in July 2002, Von Erck has made this site his
own. Von Erck also claims no one makes any type of monetary gain
from the site.
“I would say it is a crusade. A moral crusade,” Von Erck said,
when asked why he is putting so much time and effort into such a
Von Erck adamantly denies that undercover volunteers initiate
private instant messages, but admitted that they will give out
their age, location and gender in a general chat where everyone can
see the post.
“The first person to initiate conversation is the person we post
(on the Web site),” Von Erck said.
Some opponents of the site call the members behind PJ vigilantes
or witch-hunters looking to tar and feather men.
“Rick” is such an opponent to the site. Fearing harassment and
harm, Rick, a resident of Canada, requested his real name not be
published, stating he could be in real danger.
Rick believes those working for the site are taking the law into
their own hands and have no right to inappropriately expose men all
over the Internet.
“Perverted Justice is a mere club house for stalkers and sexual
role players, law school drop outs and costume sleuths,” Rick
Nationally, some law enforcement office have praised the Web
site while others have condemned it for using methods not supported
by typical police tactics.
“Perverted Justice is not constrained by the Constitution, the
rules of certain procedures, the rules of probable cause and
acceptable law techniques, all of which are the safeguards that are
in place when law enforcement investigates a crime in society,”
Parris points out law techniques like search warrants being
reviewed or probable cause being initiated.
“We encourage the public to bring allegations of pedophilia to
local law enforcement or the FBI,” Parris said.
According to Von Erck 10 or 12 men logged on the site are
currently involved in police investigations. He also said a man
from Colorado who had been out on the street for 13 days after
being released from jail was caught trying to meet with one of PJ’s
contributors. He was later caught by the police and jailed, Von
Many e-mail accounts and phone numbers based on the personal
information listed on the log of those profiled have been
disconnected or cancelled.
“To me, this site is nothing more than a neighborhood watch,”
Von Erck said.