A woman and man from Michigan were arraigned Wednesday on charges of child sexually abusive activity and using a computer to commit a crime after she allegedly offered her 4-year-old daughter to the man for money.
Jennifer Marie Brys, 25, of Warren, Mich., allegedly had a prostitution ad on the site Backpage.com, according to a WXYZ-TV report. Edward Cody Reardon, 26, connected with Brys through the ad, but when the Lincoln Park resident learned she had a 4-year-old daughter, he changed his focus.
According to the news station, police say Reardon suggested in a text message that he shower with Brys' daughter, and he asked for a nude photo of the young girl. She sent him a clothed one.
"When you look at the picture of this innocent little girl, and think about what her mother wanted to do with her, the mother who is supposed to protect her, it’s disgusting and disturbing," Warren Police Commissioner Jere Green told the Macomb Daily.
According to the paper, Reardon agreed to pay upwards of $300.
Green told the Detroit Free Press that Reardon texted with Brys about recruiting girls ages 7 to 12 and said he'd pay $600 for nude photos and to meet them.
Brys and Reardon were reportedly found out by the child's father, Aaron Perry, a day before the meeting was supposed to happen. He discovered the text messages on her phone and called the cops, officials said.
In the call (listen above), he tells operators to come to the house while Brys screams for him to stop, saying, "I didn't do anything!"
According to court records, Brys and Perry were involved in a child support case in 2009.
Brys and Reardon were arraigned Wednesday. Bail was set at $500,000. But police don't think it's an isolated incident. According to the Macomb Daily, officials set bond so high because Reardon was the subject of a current FBI investigation for potential similar crimes.
“I’m afraid we’re going to open a Pandora’s Box here," Green told the Detroit Free Press.
Backpage is like Craigslist, with job postings, apartment listings, furniture for sale -- and scores of personal ads for escorts. Craigslist dropped its "adult services" section in 2010 after much criticism, including accusations of child sex trafficking. Attorney generals, law enforcement officials and lawmakers have called for Backpage's adult section to be shut down, though current law makes it difficult to go after the site.
In Detroit, it is particularly infamous. In 2011, four women were found in car trunks, murdered. Three of them had posted escort ads on Backpage.com and police say the alleged killer contacted them through the site.