A Department of Homeless Services police officer was busted for sexting with a “14-year-old girl” in a civilian sting operation exposing Big Apple pedophiles on YouTube, The Post has learned.
Michael Castro, 24, is now facing an internal investigation at the Department of Social Services, which oversees DHS and has referred the matter to law enforcement, the agency said.
Castro, previously stationed at the Renaissance Shelter, was caught in the crosshairs of the YouTube page “NYCreeps Spotlight” — a modern-day version of “To Catch a Predator” that aims to lure in pedophiles online by posing as teenagers, the page’s creator told The Post.
“I put a fake profile up and I just wait for all these guys to hit my post up and in the beginning, I let them know my age, I let them know I’m 14-years-old. Some agree, some don’t agree, and the ones who agree, those are the ones that I catch,” said the creator, who asked to be referred to as “FM” to protect his identity and his children.
FM uses images from his adult female friends, with their consent, and applies filters to make them appear younger. Once a date is set to meet, he catches the pervs in public, takes video of the encounter and posts it to his YouTube page.
“These men are really disgusting, the things they say to these kids, the pics they send, it’s nasty,” FM, who was almost molested as a child, said.
“They should be getting professional help or castration, whatever works.”
Castro allegedly fell into the trap in mid-August when he came across FM’s profile on the social media app Whisper that depicted a 14-year-old girl named “Julie.”
“Hi Julie… Wanna trade selfies,” Castro allegedly wrote to the teen, according to copies of the chat log reviewed by The Post that have been handed over to investigators.
“Gotta be honest im 14 goin on 15 hope ur cool [with] that,” Julie wrote back.
“Sure… I can use a friend,” the cop allegedly replied.
At first, Castro allegedly wrote she was “too young” and “if you were older I’d totally ask you out” but the conversation soon devolved into questions about what clothes she was wearing, if she was a virgin and if she was OK with him bringing condoms over to her house, the chat log shows.
“You’re a kid with an adult mindset,” Castro allegedly wrote.
“I’d love to see ya naked.”
When Julie told him she had “no experience” with sex, Castro allegedly replied: “I’ll give you some” with a winking emoji and then, “I’ll be gentle.”
The two discussed meeting up to have sex and when Julie said she was “a little nervous but excited,” Castro said, “It’s ok this will be fun” and “nobody will know.”
When contacted by The Post, Castro said his legal counsel advised him “not to speak to anyone concerning this matter at this time” and provided no additional comment.
On Aug. 14, Castro agreed to meet up with Julie near her apartment but found FM on the street corner instead.
“Welcome to the creep show,” FM said to Castro in a video of the encounter.
Following the bust, FM went to the Renaissance Shelter to further expose Castro and told the residents about what happened, leading the cop to get transferred to the Fort Washington Men’s Shelter for “safety reasons,” a law enforcement source told The Post. He’s yet to show up for work and has repeatedly called in sick, the source said.
FM said he also spoke with Castro’s supervisor on Aug. 17, told him what happened, leading to an internal investigation from the Department of Social Services.
A spokesperson claimed Castro was “immediately transferred” as soon as they caught wind of the incident and said he “no longer has any contact with clients.”
“The actions described are horrifying and will never be tolerated in our City. Ensuring a safe, supportive environment for clients, staff and community alike is our top priority as we help New Yorkers in need get back on their feet –– and we will not stand for any behavior that puts any New Yorker at risk,” the spokesperson said. “Pending the investigation into the matter, we are prepared to take additional prompt disciplinary action.”
However, the source countered that if Castro hadn’t called in sick for work, he definitely would’ve been around clients. The DSS did not respond to a follow-up request for comment on the allegation.