When 24-year-old David Michael Ford, an active duty soldier from Joint-Base Lewis McChord, returned from deployment in Afghanistan yesterday police were waiting for him. It probably wasn't the homecoming he was hoping for, as Pierce County Prosecutors proceeded to file a total of 25 charges against him, all of them related to allegations Ford contacted and befriended seven underage girls via the Internet (and predominantly Facebook) and then pressured them into posing nude in exchange for money, alcohol, and gifts like concert tickets, Victoria's Secret gift certificates and iPhones.
Tuesday in Pierce County court during his arraignment Ford pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.
"These charges are the result of our successful collaboration with the Washington State Patrol Missing and Exploited Children Task Force," Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist announced Tuesday via press release. "Our Special Assault Unit vigorously prosecutes sexual crimes against minors.
As charging documents filed in the case detail, authorities contend Ford utilized a similar MO with each of his alleged victims - contacting them on the Internet or "friending" them on Facebook, eventually obtaining their cell phone numbers, and then pressuring them to pose naked for him. If the girls refused, Ford would become irate and allegedly threaten to send racy pictures of the girls he'd obtained to friends and family in an effort to humiliate them.
From charging documents:
On 4/24/12, members of the Washington State Patrol (WSP) Missing and Exploited Children Task Force (MECTF) were contacted by 15 year old H.S. who said that she had been contacted by DAVID MICHAEL FORD on Facebook. The conversation with FORD quickly turned sexual in nature, and FORD asked if H.S. would stand up and show him her breasts, and stick her bare buttocks out so he could see them. FORD told H.S. "I want to stick my fat cock between your tits." H.S. decided to talk to her friend C.S. who also had been friended by FORD on Facebook. C.S. told H.S. that she had sent FORD nude pictures.
MECTF members contacted 16 year old C.S. on 4/24/12, who stated that she had met FORD on Facebook and started chatting. FORD had offered C.S. tickets to a Jason Aldine concert if she would Skype with him and pose for him. FORD asked C.S. to expose her breasts and buttocks to him in exchange for the tickets, which she did. Over a period of approximately 4 months C.S. estimated that she and FORD had Skyped approximately 25-35 times. FORD would continuously threaten to send images of C.S. to her friends and family or the general public. C.S. said she was very fearful that FORD would carry out his threats. C.S. would pose nude on her bed for FORD and masturbate for him. Over a period of 4 months, FORD sent C.S. a gift certificate to Victoria's Secret for several hundred dollars, and iPhone 4, and approximately $800 to The Buckle, a clothing store.
During a forensic review of FORD'S computer, video evidence was discovered of C.S. using Skype with FORD. C.S. was showing her buttocks to FORD. The videos were saved by name, using C.S.'S name.
Prosecutors also contend that Ford's interactions with the minors weren't limited to the Internet. On one occasion prosecutors say Ford met with two of his victims at Puyallup's South Hill Mall, later taking one of them to a friend's house in Bonney Lake and attempting to engage in sexual activity.
From charging documents:
MECTF members interviewed 17 year old S.R.A. on 4/26/12. She stated that she had been contacted by FORD on Facebook. The conversation quickly turned sexual. FORD offered S.R.A. and her friend alcohol, money, and gift cards if they would get naked on Facebook and Skype. FORD sent S.R.A. a $100 gift card to Victoria's Secret. FORD would constantly ask S.R.A to take her clothes off.
S.R.A. said she and K.A.B. had gone on "Stickam" and exposed their breasts to FORD.
S.R.A. met FORD at the South Hill Mall. FORD took her to Bonney Lake to a friend's house for a barbeque. S.R.A. said FORD "wanted to hook up with me" and wanted her to go upstairs with him at the barbeque. S.R.A. was so uncomfortable she called a friend to pick her up and left a bag containing a number of items in FORD'S car. FORD refused to give the bag back, telling S.R.A. that he would only give the items back if she sent him naked photos of herself. Eventually S.R.A.'S father called FORD, who returned the bag, minus some of S.R.A.'S clothing.
Prosecutors say eventually one of Ford's victims used the same technology he had used to harass them against him, snapping a cell phone photo of him masturbating in an attempt to protect herself from further threats.
As charging documents note:
A.K.K. stated that on one occasion FORD masturbated on camera as she and D.A.T. exposed themselves. A.K.K. recorded FORD masturbating using her cell phone camera, as she wanted to have something to prevent him from continuing to demand additional images and video. This video was located on A.K.K.'S phone. FORD'S face is clearly visible.
Though Ford pleaded not guilty in court yesterday during his arraignment, charging documents indicate "made admissions consistent with the victims' accounts," when arrested.
Previously on The Daily Weekly:
Donald Fuller Says Filing a Complaint with Seattle's OPA Over Police Abuse Made Him the Target of a Vindictive Prosecution