Clicking the “Add Friends” button takes you to a screen where you can either create an account in the app or continue using your Facebook account.
“Too often we hear about something terrible that happened to a child, and it was too late,” said Meyer. Thankfully, that was not the case in this instance, due to the attentiveness of a member of the church. “She’s the hero,” said Meyer. “To me, she’s the real hero.”
When the church member noticed a man was befriending multiple underage girls in the youth group, she googled his name and discovered his criminal background. The church member then alerted the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to the situation. This was in late September. Authorities searched Kersey’s phone, where they found the Bible app open. Kersey admitted to “actively using” the app and to concealing his new email address.
“Simply to say ‘Well it’s a Bible program, nothing could go wrong’ misunderstands who is allowed to use them,” observed Meyer. Sadly, in this day and age, parents cannot assume their children are safe online, even on a Bible app. Detective Grooms advised parents to be proactive about checking their children’s phone use and online activity: “Be aware, check their social media, check their phones, check their email addresses, check their friends. Then you have to double and quadruple check.”
WKRG News reports that the charges against Kersey are “two counts of failure of sexual offender to register and violation of probation from prior out-of-county arrests.” ABC says police are investigating whether or not Kersey contacted minors via other apps.