CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two Middle Tennessee men are facing felony sex charges after they allegedly drive to Cheatham County believing they are going to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
It turns out it is a sting operation conducted, not by law enforcement, but by a private, not-for-profit organization out of Indiana known as Bikers Against Predators.
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According to their website, Bikers Against Predators is “a 501c3 non-profit that is acting against online child predators. B.A.P.’s mission is to expose online predators to help spread awareness and education to as many citizens as possible while having these predators face justice for their crimes.”
On Friday, Dec. 9, the organization lured two men to Cheatham County. The group, operating without law enforcement knowledge, broadcast the encounter live on their Facebook page.
The first man to arrive was 22-year-old Kyle Lovett from Charlotte, Tennessee.
Cheatham County investigators, who will later become involved in the case, said he was lured to the home after going online and chatting with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. “They were lured here under the pretense that they were meeting this underage child for sex,” said Lt. Ken Miller, Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office.
After a few minutes of talking to the female decoy, who looks young but is an adult, the president of the Bikers Against Predators—known as Boots—enters the room.
While recording, he confronts Lovett about his intentions. Around the same time, a Cheatham County deputy also arrives at the scene.
The deputy was not a part of the sting and only comes to the home after he is called by the B.A.P. president.
On the video, you can hear the interaction between the men in the room.
Boots: “Kyle, this is a serious offense.”
Lovett: “I know sir.”
Boots: “You talked about cuddling, I hope you like being the little spoon.”
Lovett: “I may seem like a pedophile,”
Boots: “Why do you say that?”
Lovett: “Because I did say all that stuff in those text messages.”
Boots: “What you thought was a minor.”
Female decoy: “Do you agree that’s predatory behavior?”
Lovett: “Yes, it is.”
A short time later, the sting operation lured another man to the house, 35-year-old Habibullah Nasrat from La Vergne.
Once again, the Cheatham County Sheriff’s Department is called, and the man is arrested.
“You said how old are you? She said I turn 14 in March,” the B.A.P. president said to the suspect during the live arrest.
He then explained what his organization is and what he was doing there. “I’ll let you know now, I am not law enforcement. But I did call law enforcement out here. We run an online organization, Bikers Against Predators, and we expose online child predators to the community. You thought a 13-year-old child was here alone today.”
Nasrat responded, “I swear to God, I didn’t know.”
Boots replied, “she told you multiple times.”
Lt. Miller applauds the effort, but the group’s tactics do give him pause for concern.
“There are certain processes we have to follow to prosecute a case. There are certain steps we take in order to ensure the integrity of our evidence. The validity of our charges, when we charge these people with a crime, and in general, safety,” said Miller. “But what most people don’t understand is the process that goes on behind the scenes to build this case to where we can successfully prosecute it. That’s our big concern here that we want to make sure that whatever we do is going to stand the test of the court system.”
Miller said it would be much better if the group called sheriff’s officials once the suspect has been identified so law officers can professionally handle the arrest.
According to members of the group they have executed close to 200 of these stings in multiple states.
Both men are charged with attempted statutory rape. Nasrat is also charged with solicitation of a minor.