By: Kelsi Anderson, Laura Barczewski, Justina Coronel, KSDK News
June 7, 2023
The Lake St. Louis police chief said he believes there may be more victims not only in the St. Louis region, but also throughout Missouri and in other states.
CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. — Police are seeking possible additional victims after a Lake Saint Louis man was charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and threatening her with a weapon.
The Lake St. Louis Police Department announced charges Wednesday against 28-year-old Enrique A. White. He is facing one count each of first-degree statutory rape, unlawful use of a weapon, first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree child molestation.
Police said they received a report on Saturday that White committed multiple sexual assaults against an underage victim, including one incident where the child was threatened with a weapon.
Police believe White may have been a serial offender and there may be other victims who have not come forward.
“We have information that we’ve received that there were adults also, he was primarily targeting women,” Lake St. Louis Police Chief Chris DiGuiseppi said.
DiGuiseppi said he believes there may be victims not just in the region, but also throughout Missouri and in other states.
He said investigators also learned that White has been accused of similar crimes in the past.
White is believed to have contacted victims through dating apps such as Plenty of Fish, Meet Me and BLK, police said. Police allege he used various aliases and may have used alcohol or narcotics to incapacitate victims prior to sexually assaulting them.
Director of Forensic Services, Amy Robins, works at The Child Advocacy Center of Northeast Missouri in Wentzville.
Robins said she believes the different aliases are a way to protect themselves.
“It allows them to keep that anonymity and not be caught. If a parent does find something on the phone, it’s harder for them to figure out how it is and less likely to take it law enforcement,” she added.
Robins said she knows how quickly predators act.
“On average when we have profiles or do operations looking for those targeting kids, it’s a matter of seconds before a predator starts targeting them, it’s scary,” she said.
Personal Security Consultant, Mike Barbieri, said online dating can be very dangerous.
“Some of our clients that have problems with online daters have been stalked. People have shown up at their place of employment. One lady, in particular, was roofied and woke up the next day, didn’t even know what had happened. Found out that her pictures were all over the Internet,” Barbieri said.
Barbieri said people have to be very careful when meeting dates online.
“One of the things you don’t want to do is to meet that person in his house or his apartment or any other personal place. If you’re going to meet the person, you should meet that person in a public area. You should drive yourself and leave immediately if they’re not who they say they are,” Barbieri said.
He added that it’s also a good idea to be very discreet about personal information and even the pictures on dating profiles.
“Never share any personal details about yourself. Never share. Probably it’s a good idea never to use your last name. Probably a good idea to never tell anybody where you work, what kind of car you drive, where you live, your telephone number, all of these things really shouldn’t be part of your profile,” Barbieri said.
It can be very hard for law enforcement to track down predators from online dating sites especially if they use an alias, he said.
“It’s extremely hard to find out unless you somehow get this guy’s real name, or you get his license plate and then you give it to us, and we can run the plate. We can find out exactly who this guy really is,” Barbieri said.
Any additional victims are encouraged to contact their local police department to help gather additional evidence and possibly further charges. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lake St. Louis Investigations Division at 636-625-8018.
DiGuiseppi said since victims may be in areas well beyond Lake St. Louis that people can also contact their local law enforcement agency to make a report.
This week, a judge said White is a danger to both the crime victim and the community.
The judge ordered him to remain behind bars on a $500,000 bond.