Catching a predator: Alert dad poses as 13-year-old, catches man in act, sheriff says

An Indiana father is being credited with saving his 13-year-old from a child predator after he lured a man trying to contact the child to the family’s home.

The unidentified Scott County parent was checking his child's Facebook page when he noticed that a man, later identified as Brandon Ruff, 29, of Jeffersonville, was trying to contact the child, authorities said.

"The parent pretended to be the child and the alleged child predator came to the family's home in rural Scott County to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old," Scott County Sheriff Jerry Goodin said in a news release.

When Ruff arrived, the teen’s father held him at the house until deputies arrived, Goodin said.

Goodin said Sheriff’s Office investigators learned that Ruff had made friends with the child online and had previously made arrangements for the two to meet. It was not immediately clear if the pair had met face-to-face before the child’s father became aware of Ruff’s actions.

Ruff is charged with false informing, child solicitation using a computer network and traveling to meet the child or person he believed to be a child and child molestation by having sexual intercourse or other sexual contact with a child under the age of 14, Scott County Jail records show.

Investigators are looking into the possibility there are other victims, Goodin said. Ruff is alleged to have had a fake Facebook profile listed under the name Sammy Castro.

"It is thought Brandon Ruff could be posing as a wrestler to gain the confidence of the children," Goodin said in the news release. "Parents are urged to check their children's Facebook pages, especially Facebook Messenger, to see if your child has had contact with Brandon Ruff."

Anyone who fears their child might have been a victim should call the Scott County Sheriff's Office at 812-752-8400 or 812-752-5550. Outside of Scott County, parents should contact the Indiana State Police post at Sellersburg and request to speak to investigators.

The number for the Sellersburg post is 800-872-6743.

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