Before long, "Esther" had a match - a man named Rob.
In 2018, A CT man was caught by a group called POPSquad, which lured him to meet up with a 14-year-old boy they had posed as on a dating app and posted a video of the encounter onto their Facebook page of more than 17,000 followers. He wanted to pose as an underage girl online to catch sexual predators.
Esther told him she didn't want any pictures of her going around the internet.
San Jose police now say that "Rob" was actually Robert Davies, a 40-year-old police officer in the nearby city of San Mateo.
The policeman allegedly asked for the communication to continue over Snapchat.
I was just looking to get someone. "He just happened to be a cop", he told NBC.
The student turned his phone on airplane mode which stopped alerts to Davies that their conversations were being screenshotted. Then he shared them with police.
San Jose cops say those screenshots show Davies "chatted about engaging in sexual activity", leading to his arrest last Thursday following search warrants on his home and electronic devices.
Davies was booked in the Santa Clara County Jail on suspicion of contacting a minor to commit a felony, The Hill reports. It wasn't clear from court records if he has an attorney.
San Jose police looked into it.
Ethan sent the conversations, which he screenshotted, to the not-for-profit crime tip hotline Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers, after which police investigated the incident and arrested Davies.
According to a statement from the San Mateo police, Davies was placed on paid administrative leave when the department became aware of the investigation.
"This alleged conduct, if true, is in no way a reflection of all that we stand for as a Department, and is an affront to the tenets of our department and our profession as a whole", said San Mateo police chief Susan Manheimer in a statement, "As San Mateo police officers, we have sworn an oath to serve and protect our communities".