Herkimer Walmart has found itself in the center of a YouTube series that shows the process of catching child predators. As more alleged predators are being caught, the more likely the public will be able to identify them, and that is what happened recently with a substitute Herkimer- BOCES teacher.
Thanks to a YouTuber who goes by the screen name “WEB”, everyone is able to experience the process of the catch as if they were actually there. All of the alleged predators that have been interacting with WEB have shown a deep interest in having sexual interactions with underage victims. WEB makes decoy accounts on various dating platforms where he poses as someone who is underage. He then waits for any person of age to show interest in the underage decoy. These alleged predators have been engaging in various explicit conversations with who they thought were minors. Four of these alleged predators have already been identified in Herkimer alone, with two in custody as of February 6, 2022. WEB had been in Herkimer for two weeks prior, with plans to trap the alleged predators at the local Walmart.
On February 6, 2022 WEB was sharing a conversation with “Justin Dory” as his fifteen- year old decoy “Cam” over the dating app “Grindr.” This is where the live stream on YouTube started — when “Justin Dory” agreed to meet the underage decoy in the milk section of the store where he was faced with a grown man, WEB. The YouTuber let the alleged predator know that he was on the other side of the phone, that he knew what he had done, and that he knew who he really was. In order for “Dory” to cooperate he threatened to call the police, who in reality were already on the way. This allowed WEB to keep the alleged predator in the front of the store where he interviewed him during the subject’s multiple attempts to hide his face and leave.
As the interview progressed the man admitted to driving over an hour to meet with the 15 year old who had stated he was home alone over chat logs where the man said he would bring explicit items. The man who called himself “Justin” admitted to solicitation of child pornography while knowing the age of the minor. He also willingly admitted that he had felt arousal regarding the teen boy, following him admitting it was a mistake. He then on various counts changed his intent regarding the interactions with the decoy. Dory then claimed he hesitated on the drive to the teen decoy, because he was underage and stating “I really wanted no part of this, honestly.”
In regards to having committed a felony, he claimed he was at Herkimer Walmart to shut it down with the potential victim. He stated that he knew how it looked and also how it was wrong. Dory said the reason he did any of this was because he got “carried away” and “got caught up in the moment” which he rephrased multiple times within the interview. After 25 minutes into the video, the man who claimed to be “Justin Dory” was handed off to the Herkimer Police Department for standard questioning and a car search for weapons, paraphernalia, and the explicit item he promised to bring. With there being nothing to charge him with, the police made no arrest and from there began investigating.
After this video had surfaced, many people in the Herkimer area claimed to recognize this man. Commenters on the video said this man was their teacher and coach. Herkimer BOCES released a statement on February 07, 2022:
“This morning, Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES administrators became aware of rumors and a video regarding one of our substitute teachers. We took immediate steps to assure the safety and welfare of our students. At that time, we found the substitute teacher had left work for the day. The substitute teacher later tendered a resignation and is no longer employed by Herkimer BOCES. We are not at liberty to discuss any further details because this is a personnel matter. Please know that we take this situation very seriously, and the Herkimer Police Department has started an investigation.”
Some of the live YouTube comments are no longer viewable to the public, but some remain.
Following the incident, articles were published by WIBX and WKTV in regards to the situation and investigation process. For many this has been shocking and unsettling, as the man had been teaching for some time. He worked as a substitute math teacher at Herkimer BOCES and had prior experience teaching elsewhere. He allegedly spent years surrounded by children ranging from ages eleven to seventeen.
Some of these children were the same age as the child this alleged predator was going to meet.
A study supported by the National Institute of Justice states “ An estimated 10% of K–12 students will experience sexual misconduct by a school employee by the time they graduate from high school. Such misconduct can result in lifelong consequences for students including negative physical, psychological, and academic outcomes.”
With that being said, we should all want to know how to educate our children on these problems and how to prevent them.