COLORADO SPRINGS — After myriad TV shows and newspaper articles on organizations that entrap child predators by having adults pretend to be underage girls in Internet chat rooms, it's hard to believe that the stings still catch anyone. But on Friday, undercover officers caught a particularly big fish: Juan Alberto Ovalle, whose job it is to narrate a Spanish-language version of the Bible for the internationally-known pro-censorship organization Focus on the Family.
According to the affidavit of one of the investigators, Ovalle, allegedly using the screen name "tgc_rn," entered an Internet chat room on April 3 and began an online conversation with someone he believed to be under the age of 15, and within minutes had asked the "girl" — actually an adult investigator from the Jefferson County District Attorney's office — whether she had had sex, then "Do you really like older [guys]?" and "Would you like to meet me?"
The following morning, Ovalle allegedly IM'd the "girl," told her he was home alone and "horny," asked if her mom were home, and when assured that she wasn't, asked for the girl's address and phone number and said he was coming right over. He also apparently asked the teen what she liked to do during sex, and told her, "I am a pussy sucker" and "I like all my face to get wet ," then went on to explicitly describe various sex acts.
According to the investigator's affidavit, Ovalle told the girl that he would be driving a green BMW, and that when he later called from the car, he told her that he wanted to fuck her doggie style and have her sit on his face, then asked if she "sucked dick" and if she swallowed.
Of course, the police were staking out the "girl's" location, and when they saw a green BMW slowly pass the house , they tried to pull it over by flashing their emergency lights and sounding the siren, but the car continued to travel for at least one additional block before finally stopping at the curb.
Ovalle worked for Trans World Radio Ministry, a Spanish-speaking arm of Focus on the Family, and Ovalle had produced for the organization a 42-CD version of the Bible in the Spanish language, which until very recently was sold on Focus on the Family's website. The site also said that Ovalle had founded "Spanish Christian Audio" in 2001 "to help Christian organizations with their audio needs."
Gary Schneeberger, a spokesman for Focus on the Family (FotF) and a frequent contributor to the organization's website, told the Denver Post that he was "shocked" at news of Ovalle's arrest, and that his group "is beginning its own process of looking into the allegations" and that it "will work with authorities" if asked.
Focus on the Family's founder, James Dobson, recently resigned as the organization's leader, but continues his daily broadcasts of Christian-oriented advice. The organization's website contains articles on various social issues including homosexuality, same-sex marriage, gambling and "Protecting Your Family."
Perhaps Ovalle is familiar with this passage from FotF's "Parenting" section, specifically the article titled, "But Mom, You Were Spying! ": "Teens create Web profiles to express themselves. They want to understand their own identities, and they want to tell others who they are. That's a normal part of growing up. But in cyberspace, it can be dangerous. So tour your teen's personal page with her and point out where she's posted details (often unthinkingly) that might pinpoint her specific identity and location to someone with less-than-noble intentions."
In one posting under "Pornography ," Dobson warns, "The system breaks down, however, when law agencies at the local, state or federal level do not enforce obscenity laws. If a business suspected of violating the law is not investigated, cases cannot be brought to trial. If cases don't go to trial, a community has no opportunity to exercise its constitutional right to determine its own standards."
Presumably, Dobson will apply that same strict standard to his own organization when police further investigate Ovalle.