TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A Terre Haute man reportedly tried to lure a decoy working with Predator Catchers to a local fraternity house for sex before being arrested on the front lawn.
That’s according to court documents filed in Vigo County in relation to the arrest of 21-year-old Rashaan R. Shufford. Shufford faces two felony charges, the first being level 5 child solicitation, with the second being level 6 attempted possession of child pornography.
The charges stem from the events of July 14, when West Terre Haute Police and the Vigo County Criminal Activity Team worked with Predator Catchers Inc. during an investigation into possible child solicitation.
Predator Catchers told police that a decoy, acting as a 13-year-old girl, had been contacted by Shufford on the social media app Skout. The two quickly began to chat over text messaging after connecting on the app.
The 21-year-old reportedly told the “girl” that he was 18 year’s old but later told her he was actually 17 after the decoy told him she was 13.
Shufford would go on to request the decoy send him nude images of herself before inviting her to meet up near the swings at Fairbanks Park via the social media app Snapchat.
Decoy- what do u wanna doSnapchat log included in a Probable Cause Affidavit filed in Vigo County Court
SHUFFORD- We can have sex if you want
Decoy- I’m down if u want to
SHUFFORD- Okay I’m down
Decoy- Cool. So u don’t mind I’m 13? I just don’t wanna be weird lol
SHUFFORD- I’m only 17 so I don’t think it’s the biggest deal
Police said that while the decoy was waiting to meet Shufford he began to message and encourage her to come to the a fraternity house on S. 6th Street that ISU lists as the home of the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
“However, after telling the decoy he was on the way, multiple times, he tried to get the decoy to meet him closer to his residence on S 6th Street,” Police said. “Each time the decoy and Shufford would agree on a new location, he would tell the decoy it needed to be closer to his house ‘because his parents track his phone’ Officers knew this to be false and knew he lived at a Fraternity House. While conducting surveillance of the residence. there were multiple people in the front yard including Shufford. Shufford would not leave the property but kept insisting the decoy come to the house. For the safety of the decoy, this did not happen.”
According to police, when they approached Shufford, he admitted to talking to the decoy. Shufford also reportedly admitted to planning to have sex with the decoy and that he knew what he was doing was wrong.
When reached for comment Indiana State University provided the following statement
“Indiana State University has no involvement in this investigation. Rashaan is not an active student. ISU will assist as needed, but this is a West Terre Haute Police Department investigation”
When reached for comment, the Executive Director of Phi Kappa Psi said:
“We have been made aware of the situation involving Reshaan Shufford. At the time of the incident he was not an active undergraduate member of our fraternity chapter.
While some of the residents of the property on 6th Street are members of our fraternity, the fraternity does not own or operate the facility. It is not a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house.
The conduct alleged is deeply contrary to our values and we strongly condemn it.”Ronald K. Ransom II, Executive Director of Phi Kappa Psi.
Shufford was then placed under arrest and taken to the Vigo County Jail.
Court records indicate that Shufford appeared for an initial hearing in court on Thursday where he was appointed a public defender in the matter. Shufford is being held on $10,000 bond with no 10% allowed.