Garden City man uses ‘truth or dare,’ blackmail to make girls perform sex acts on selves, family, pets

Gerald Corrow facing 4 charges related to child pornography

The Snapchat app. (Richard Drew, AP)

GARDEN CITY, Mich. – A criminal complaint broke down how a Garden City man used games of “truth or dare” over Snapchat to receive nude images of young girls and then blackmail them with those images to force them to perform sex acts on themselves, siblings, and pets.

The complaint, which was filed Aug. 16, accuses Gerald James Corrow III, 19, of Garden City, of producing and attempting to produce child pornography; receipt, distribution, and possession of child pornography; coercion and enticement of a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity; and transfer of obscene material to a minor.

WARNING: Some of the details contained in the complaint are disturbing and graphic in nature.

Arizona mother finds sexual pictures on cellphone

Officials with the Phoenix Police Department said they received a call on June 25 from a mother of two girls, ages 6 and 9.

The mother said she had found an old smartphone in her cabinet that had recently been turned on. She found the smartphone app Snapchat installed on the phone, according to authorities.

Sexual messages had been exchanged on Snapchat, the criminal complaint says. When the mother asked her 9-year-old daughter about those messages, the girl admitted to sending nude images of herself, according to court records.

A Phoenix detective interviewed the 9-year-old girl and learned that she had used the Wink application and connected that to a Snapchat account. While creating the Wink account, the girl claimed she was 13 years old and began to receive requests for nude images from several users, authorities said.

One user, who she only knew as “Jerry,” started to threaten the girl, officials said. Police later identified this user as Corrow, they said. He asked if she had any sisters, and she said she had two, including one who was 6 years old, according to the criminal complaint.

Corrow threatened to post the girl’s nude images to social media unless she sent him nude pictures of her 6-year-old sister, according to authorities. The girl made her sister undress and took a picture of her body without her face before sending it to Corrow, court records show.

The 9-year-old refused to send any additional nude images of her sister to Corrow, officials said.

Linking Snapchat account to Corrow

The Phoenix detective traced the Snapchat account used by Corrow to an email address. A search warrant linked that information to an L. Corrow at an address in Garden City, according to police. That person’s 19-year-old son was identified as Gerald James Corrow III, the complaint says.

Police said pictures of Corrow matched the person in the images sent by the “Jerry” Snapchat account.

When officials traced the Snapchat account back to Corrow, they said they discovered the image of the 6-year-old girl, which showed her nude from the shoulders down. The picture meets the federal definition of child pornography, authorities said.

Corrow had superimposed a yellow box over the knees of the girl, and the 9-year-old’s Snapchat name was written in that box in black letters, court records show.

Corrow’s pattern of targeting girls

Officials said a review of the messages from Corrow’s Snapchat account “showed a consistent pattern where the user would talk to females in an attempt to obtain nude images of them through the game of truth or dare.”

Corrow would receive nude images from girls by playing truth or dare, and then use those images to blackmail the girls into performing sex acts, according to officials.

Most of his conversations happened with children, based on the context, the criminal complaint says. Two girls specifically said they were 12 and 13 years old, and all but one told Corrow that they had siblings between the ages of 1 and 15 years old, police said.

Once Corrow had received an image that was potentially compromising, he would threaten to post it on social media unless the child complied with his demands, authorities said.

Ordering girl to perform sex acts with brother

He would typically ask the girls if they had brothers, and if they did, he would order them to perform sex acts on them, according to court records.

Officials provided the following conversation in the criminal complaint:

  • Corrow: “Send me a video of you (performing oral sex)”
  • Minor victim: “I’ve never (done that)”
  • Corrow: “Do you have any brothers”
  • Minor victim: “Yes”
  • Corrow: “How old are they”
  • Minor victim: “15 and 10″
  • Corrow: “I dare you to (perform oral sex with the 10-year-old brother) on video”
  • Corrow: “And send it to me”
  • Minor victim: “Yea no”
  • Corrow: “Why”
  • Corrow: “I’ll post it”
  • Corrow: “Unless you do what I say”
  • Minor victim: “(I) don’t even think he’d let me dumb---”
  • Corrow: “So ask”
  • Corrow: (Sent a nude photo of the girl.) “Or I’ll post this”

Officials said the photo sent by Corrow showed the girl nude in a bathroom, and her Snapchat username was placed on the bottom third in a yellow box with black text.

Ordering girl to perform sex acts on herself, with dog

Police said many of the children threatened by Corrow didn’t comply with his demands, but some of them did.

On June 9, he ordered one girl to send a video of her dog performing a sex act on her, and she refused, according to authorities.

Corrow then said, “You’ll regret it,” and sent a nude image of a girl and threatened to post it and tag her, the criminal complaint says.

The girl said she couldn’t do it because it would set off an alarm, so Corrow told her to send him a nude video of herself, officials said. He told her to perform a sex act with her brush handle, and the girl said, “It’s 12 in the morning for me, I think I’m gonna go to bed,” according to court records.

Corrow told the girl she wasn’t going to go to bed and demanded she send more photos or videos using props, authorities said.

Later, she asked again if she could go to bed, and Corrow demanded she continue to send him images or videos of the sex acts, the criminal complaint says. He directed her specifically what he wanted her to do, officials said.

When she asked to go to bed again, he agreed, police said.

The videos and images from this exchange weren’t found during the search warrant, but the criminal complaint concludes that, based on the conversation, they meet the federal definition of child pornography.

Corrow arrested, charged

Officials said they executed a search warrant on Aug. 16 at Corrow’s home. They found a cellphone in his bedroom that was logged into the Snapchat account linked to the above interactions, according to authorities.

Corrow was arrested and taken to the PV McNamara Federal Building in Detroit for an interview.

He admitted that the Snapchat and email accounts belonged to him, and said he would often meet girls on Snapchat and Wink, the criminal complaint says.

On Snapchat, he would encourage girls to send nude images, and then he would threaten to post them on social media sites by sending photos back with their usernames superimposed on them, Corrow admitted, according to the complaint.

He said he did this because he enjoyed the control he could exert over the girls, officials said.

Corrow said he’d been doing this for about 4-5 months and had received nude images and threatened about 27 girls, authorities said.

Police said Corrow admitted to making the girls perform sexual acts on themselves and family members. He told them he successfully persuaded a 13-year-old girl to send a video of herself engaged in sex with her 11-year-old brother, the criminal complaint reads.

One girl sent him a video of her dog performing a sex act on her, officials said.

The criminal complaint concludes that there is probable cause that Corrow produced and attempted to produce child pornography; received child pornography; possessed child pornography; coerced and enticed a minor; and transferred obscene material to a minor.

Previous coverage

He is accused of threatening 27 minors.
A Garden City man will stay behind bars for allegedly producing child pornography, police say. Officials have warned parents about the technology the man allegedly used to exploit dozens of children.

About the Author:

Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.