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'Hunting A Predator' catches Alaska reporter allegedly in sex chat with minor

Amanda CoyneThe New York Times
Flickr via TheRealDavidFrancis

KTUU-Channel 2 reporter Daniel Fiorucci was fired Friday after alleged conversations he had with someone who claimed to be a 14-year-old girl were published by the online site Hunting A Predator. In a statement Tuesday, KTUU General Manager Andy MacLeod said the station “immediately notified Anchorage police so they could investigate the matter.”

Anchorage Police Department spokesman Lt. Dave Parker said the department’s cyber crimes unit is now investigating. Fiorucci didn’t return an email requesting comment Tuesday.

The “about” section of the site Hunting A Predator says, “We don’t like child predators. That being said, not everyone featured on this website can be considered a sexual predator. Some of them just want to meet a 14 year old girl and ‘be friends’ or ‘go to the beach’ or ‘hang out after your dad falls asleep.’ We don’t like that either. That shit is weird.’”

Apparently, the site has people monitoring conversations on various websites, and then takes a screen grab of those conversations and posts the thread. It’s unclear if the person Fiorucci was chatting with online was really a 14-year-old girl or someone disguised as one.

While it’s a felony in Alaska to entice a minor to have sex or to send sexual photos, it’s not illegal to engage in a sexual conversation with a minor.

In the exchange, Fiorucci says that he wanted to meet the girl and fantasized of spanking and kissing her. But he also said if they did meet, he’d be a “gentleman” and take her out to a movie and dinner. The girl apparently sent him a photo, but it’s unclear based on Fiorucci’s reaction if the photo was graphic or sexual.

Hunting A Predator also posted a recording of someone claiming to be the father of the girl confronting Fiorucci, who apologized profusely and said he made a “stupid mistake.”

Parker wouldn’t comment on the specifics of the police investigation, but he did say there’s a fine line between engaging in sexual conversation and enticing a minor.

“People need to use common sense with their contact with children online,” he said. “If you would object to someone contacting a child of yours and communicating with your child, you could imagine other people who would be very upset if you contacted their child. It’s plain and simple: Don’t contact a child online if you’re an adult.”

Contact Amanda Coyne at amanda@alaskadispatch.com