The Coast News Group
Crime Oceanside

14-year-old girl lured to scene of assault by popular app

OCEANSIDE – A 14-year-old girl became the victim of a sexual assault after being lured by a 21-year-old posing as a younger peer on the Spotafriend app.

The popular app is designed for teens to message and meet up. The older man communicated with the girl for two days before they met at a house where the assault occurred Sept. 17.

Isaiah Jackson, an active duty Navy police officer assigned to the San Diego base, was positively identified and taken into custody on Sept. 21. Jackson is being held at the Vista Detention Facility on several charges including rape.

The Spotafriend app website says the app is “a new way to make friends” and not a teen dating app. Online posts about the app say otherwise.

The free app includes relationship advise blog posts like “How to identify a cheater in one minute” and “Can a long distance relationship work.”

It also boasts a “no adults sign up” feature, which many say provides false security for teens and can easily be worked around. Another risky feature is a nearby location finder linked to user profiles.

Tom Bussey, Oceanside Police public information officers, said the department believes the sexual assault is an isolated incident.

Police will continue to pursue all leads to the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the police tip line at (760) 435-4730.