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Police: Avon Sex Assault Suspect Didn't Know Boy He Met Through Grindr Was 15

When teenagers sometimes identify themselves as older than they are through social media or iPhone apps like the one in this recent case, they could be putting themselves in danger, police said.

An Avon man who police said had sexual intercourse with a 15-year-old Bloomfield boy he met through an iPhone app is scheduled to appear again in court Jan. 9, according to the state's judicial website.

Andrew Quinn, 25, has not entered a plea yet for the second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child charges he faces. His case was continued earlier this week and he was released from custody after posting a $25,000 surety bond.

Police said that Quinn told them he did not know the boy he met through Grindr was 15. The free iPhone application allows users to find "gay, bi, curious guys" near them, according to the website.

"And the problem is now with a lot of kids, when they go online, they post that they are an older age when they are trying to be more mature, but unfortunately it causes a risk to them," said Lt. Kelly Walsh, public information officer for the Avon Police Department. "They're trying to promote themselves as older than they are and it's actually hurting them... They don't understand the risk that comes with that."

Walsh said that social networks and ways people can communicate with each other are changing everyday.

"It's something that we're even trying to stay on top of and we can't," Walsh said. "One thing that we do is that we do investigate these crimes and we're proactive about it. We actually have to have middle school and high school kids come in and talk to us and tell us what apps are out there. How are people communicating with eachother? How are they sharing pictures? We learn from our juveniles now, not in a criminal way, just as far as we go out and reach out to them to help us."

She encouraged parents to to do the same.

"Ask your kid to teach you," Walsh said. "They love to show they know more than we do."

Quinn and the boy spent about a week texting after connecting through the phone app and then agreed to meet, according to Walsh. Quinn picked the boy up in Bloomfield and drove him to his 5 Vermillion Dr. home in Avon, where the two had sex, Walsh previously said.

The incident came to the Connecticut Department of Children and Families' attention after the boy "made a disclosure." The boy was made fun of at his high school when word spread about his encounter with Quinn, police said. According to the Hartford Courant, the victim was brought to a hospital for treatment after telling peers he was considering suicide.

DCF notified the Avon police, who investigated and contacted the victim's mother. Quinn gave a statement to police about meeting the victim through Grindr and what occurred in his house, Walsh said. 

"He (Quinn) was cooperative with us," Walsh said. ".... Sometimes people do feel they want to talk to somebody about it, so when we were there he decided to give us a statement."

Patch called Quinn's home phone number Thursday evening seeking comment, but he could not be reached and the voicemail was full.

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