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Social media site cited in two sex assault cases

By Rana Novini, Anchor/Reporter, r.novini@krdo.com
Published On: Aug 02 2013 11:52:21 PM CDT

In two recent cases of sexual assault on a child in El Paso County, investigators say the suspect and victim met on the website MeetMe.com.

On July 25, 19-year-old Zachary Hamilton-Smith of Monument was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.  

Days later, on July 30, Fort Carson soldier Mark Petrosky, 19, was arrested for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.  

Investigators say in both cases, the parties met on MeetMe.com.

Unlike other dating websites, MeetMe.com allows its users to be just 13 years old.  

One Colorado Springs woman truly knows the good and evil of the site.  22-year-old Brittany Thomason said she's met 90-percent of her friends on the website.  

"If you're going to use this site, you have to be super cautious," Thomason told KRDO NewsChannel 13.  "Other than that, I love this site."

Though Thomason joined the site before she was 18, she believes users should be at least 18 years old.

"I don't think 13-year-olds have any business on any website at that age. I think it should be 18," Thomason said.  "But at the same time, if you think about it, just like when I joined, I put that I was 18 even though I was not 18.  It's not really going to stop people."

KRDO NewsChannel 13 asked MeetMe.com about its 13-and-up policy on Thursday.  MeetMe has not responded to the statement request.

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