Student uses Snapchat filter to catch cop reportedly seeking sex with underage girl

A police officer has been arrested after being caught seeking sexual relations with underage girl. Ethan, a college student from the San Francisco Bay Area, managed to catch the officer in the act by posing as a teenage girl using Snapchat's new gender filter.

The 20-year-old student wanted to take down potential predators on both Tinder and Snapchat, so used the gender flip filter to pose as a girl named Esther. He created a Tinder account as a 19-year-old girl, but began to communicate with San Mateo Officer Robert Davies as a 16-year-old.

man arrested snapchat filter Credit: San Jose Police Department

In their conversation, Davies acknowledged he was speaking to a minor, yet continued to talk on Snapchat in an attempt to meet up and engage in sexual activity. Ethan then tipped off the police as a "concerned citizen," leading San Jose police to arrest the 40-year-old last Thursday.

"We started texting on there, and it got a lot more explicit," Ethan told NBC. "I was just looking to get someone, he just happened to be a cop."

The two first spoke using Tinder in early May, before the conversation moved to Kik Messenger, and then Snapchat. Ethan's own research identified who Davies was, and his tip prompted an investigation by authorities.

The officer was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on the charge of allegedly communicating with a minor with the intention of engaging in sexual activity.

"While the criminal investigation is still running its course, this charge, if true, is disturbing and the conduct alleged violates the very values and principles of this department," San Mateo Police Department said in a Facebook statement. Police Chief Susan Manheimer said:

"This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a Department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole.

"As San Mateo police officers, we have sworn an oath to serve and protect our communities. I can assure you that we remain steadfast to this commitment to serving our community with 'Professionalism, Integrity, and Excellence.'"

The San Mateo Police Department also revealed that Davies was off duty at the time, and in another country when the conversations occurred. He is currently on paid administrative leave.