Statutory rape suspect used social media to lure victims

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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A suspect is facing sex charges after police say he used social media to lure a young girl. But in an exclusive interview with FOX 2, his foster family is telling a somewhat different story.

Twenty year-old Seth Schell has been charged with Statutory Rape, and two counts of Statutory Sodomy, and is behind bars on a $100,000 cash-only bond. Because of the felony charges, his foster mom says he’s legally out of her care. She chose to speak to FOX 2 anonymously, for legal reasons, and is deeply disappointed by the whole situation.

Schell has lived with his foster mom in north St. Louis County for about a year. She says he’s had a rough life, without a steady home: “He does have a really big heart, and I’m really sad to see that he’s in this trouble.”

On May 19th, police say he met up with a girl under 14 years old, and raped and sodomized her, in a residential area, near the 9500 block of St. Charles Rock Road.

Later, the girl told a school resource officer what happened, and Schell was quickly arrested. St. Louis County Police Sgt. Colby Dolly explains, “The arrangement to meet came through social media, and that led to the assault.”

Meanwhile, Schell’s facebook page shows that he has a number of young teenage girls as recently added friends. “We have no direct evidence that he had victimized any other people, however, just because of the nature of him using social media, we wanted to put out a press release, in case there are any other possible victims, and of course we want them to come forward if they had been victimized,” adds Dolly.

But according to his foster mother, Schell met the victim because she dated a close, and younger, friend of his. When the two broke up, Schell and the victim started talking. She explains, “I did hear him speak on the phone with her one morning, and he said, why did you say that we slept together? And she says, well, I wanted to make him jealous.”

Even though Schell has just been charged at this point, his foster mom feels it’s a shame that he’s thrown his life away like this: “It just makes me feel sad for him, because it’s totally messed up his whole life. He’s not going to be out on the streets. He’s in a lot of trouble I believe.”

To keep social media use safe for children, police suggest keeping computers in a shared area of the house so parents can have access. They also suggest that parents know their kids’ passwords, and use software that limits their time on social media.