Two married strippers, Julio Rojas, 31, and Sophie Soto, 22, were charged yesterday with 56 counts of sex abuse for luring a pair of under 15-year-old girls to their Queens apartment through MySpace. Soto acted as the bait, convincing one girl that she was 18 and had only been with girls before, according to the New York Post. She told the teen that she was scared to have sex with a man. Through a feat of persuasion not outlined in the article, Soto convinced the teen and her friend to send 20 close ups of their vaginas. When Soto finally got the girls to her apartment, she had sex with both of them, after which husband Julio had sex with all three women. After they were done, Soto and Rojas took the girls to a strip club, where the underagers stripped on stage and gave bjs to customers. The most fucked up part? For all of these disturbing, horrific transgressions, the couple faces 15 years in jail, tops. They need some Hard Candy style vigilante justice on their asses, dontcha think?
As the Soto and Rojas case was in court, MySpace announced new measures to help police sexual predators on the site. The company worked with attorney generals from several states to draft their agreement, which, according to the New York Times includes, "separat[ing] children's profiles from those of adults and seek[ing] ways to verify users' ages." They plan to create a "task force" to help police the site, but as Connecticut attorney general Richard Blumenthal told the Times, "No measure is a panacea."
The important thing, it seems to me, about this new law is that it might be setting a precedent that ultimately helps the family of poor Megan Meier. The Times says that MySpace's agreement is built on an earlier Facebook agreement with the feds, both of which acknowledge that the companies "[bear] responsibility for protecting users." Lori Drew, Megan's adult MySpace tormentor, might not ultimately get comeuppance, but perhaps the Meiers can still sue the fuck out of MySpace for not doing more. Isn't MySpace culpable in these situations? Or is it just the risk we all take in a world with evil people and Internet access?