The two men who operate the Oklahoma Predator Prevention say that their only mission is to keep Oklahoma kids safe but, now, the men are who try and expose sexual predators to the law, are facing the law.
NBC made Chris Hanson famous for identifying, then setting up and busting active internet sexual predators that were on the prowl. We saw both professional and blue-collar men show up at a strange house with liquor, drugs, and sex toys in hand ready to meet and engage with a 13-year-old girl. When busted they would cry, beg and plea with Hanson not to “ruin their lives,” by calling law enforcement.
Oklahoma Predator Prevention has taken NBC’s model and started their own crusade to better Green Country and Canadian County. Now it seems that one of Oklahoma Predator Prevention’s alleged predators is fighting back.
“Basically we bust child predators,” Russel Goodwin told News 4.
Russell Goodwin and Jeremy Thomas started Oklahoma Predator Prevention (OPP) just over a year ago. Online, they pose as 13-, 14- and 15-year-old girls. Older men engage with them. The two then try to set up in person meetings and confront the person. Thomas and Goodwin are not in any way involved with law enforcement. The two post their videos of alleged predators that are “caught in the act,” on their Facebook page.
Some of Goodwins and Thomas’ videos have received views that reach into the hundreds of thousands on Facebook. For the most part, the comments are supportive of the actions of the two crime fighters, but now this good work has taken Goodwin and Russell from the streets to the courtroom in Canadian County.
“Anything you do, you are going to do some type of negativity that comes along with it; I’d say it’s 97% good, 3%bad,” Goodwin told News 4.
Some of the 3% bad is now showing up as a civil case in Canadian County, Oklahoma. Records show that a man is suing Goodwin and Thomas for $10,000, claiming defamation of character. The suit stems from an incident in September when the OPP set up a sting in for the man in Yukon. Records do show that the man suing the pair has not been arrested by any law enforcement agency and has no charges pending.
Via Facebook, Goodwin, and Thomas showed text messages they said were sent from the man in question, confirming that he was under the impression that he was trading texts with a girl he believed to be underage. OPP said that the texts go on to show the man did, in fact, send sexually suggestive messages before the meet time.
The suit claims the videos of the plaintiff made by OPP have caused him financial loss, damage to his reputation and emotional injury. The plaintiff even claims the defendants personally called his employer, wife, and ex-wife to further spread allegations that the plaintiff is a sexual predator.
“He has admitted to knowing that she was 14. He’s admitted to agreeing meeting up, and they are trying to sue us and get money for defamation and slander when everything we said happened and we devalued his ability in society and his reputation,” Thomas told News 4.
“So, you are telling me this guy can go out and prey on children, and get away with it and then try to get a judgement against us, get some money from us; nah, nah, nah, that’s not how it works,” Goodwin said.
There has been no comment from either side as the judge hearing the case issued a gag order on Monday.
Thomas and Goodwin said they are now seeking donations for legal counsel to help them in the lawsuit.
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