ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – A 31-year-old Colorado man is accused of using social media to solicit girls as young as 10 for sex. Ken Hardcastle is an active duty U.S. Army Recruiter.
Hardcastle was arrested on Monday and faces charges of internet luring of a child and internet sex exploitation of a child — both felonies.
According to an arrest affidavit, detectives interviewed a girl who had communicated with Hardcastle via a dating site.
“Through Snapchat the male stated that he wished to be with someone younger than (redacted),” The detective wrote. The affidavit states Hardcastle also expressed he wanted a 10-year-old to perform oral sex.
On Tuesday, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s office tweeted about the case to warn parents.
“Sexy? Think again,” the Sheriff’s Office tweeted, along with photos Hardcastle posted online.
“We worry there may be other victims,” the sheriff’s office wrote. “If he’s chatted with your daughter, call 720-874-8477.”
“I recommend any parent that has a kid, a juvenile under the age of 18 or even 18, check your kid’s phones,” said Sgt. Nick Rodriguez, who works on ACSO’s Internet Crimes Against Children and Special Victim’s Units. “Don’t be afraid to know their passwords, don’t be afraid to go through their text messages, their pictures, their social media sites. Pay attention to what they’re doing.”
Hardcastle appeared in court Tuesday morning for a first appearance. He was given a $10,000 cash or surety bond.
A spokesperson for the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion Denver confirmed to CBS4 Hardcastle had been a recruiter stationed in Fort Collins since 2015. In August 2018 Hardcastle was suspended from recruiting duties, which the spokesperson said was unrelated to this case.
The Denver Batallion released the following statement:
“Denver Army Recruiting Battalion takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and does not tolerate inappropriate behavior by any personnel in this command. As the Army’s ambassadors to communities across Colorado, Wyoming and Nebraska, it is an expectation for every one of our recruiters to embody the Army’s core values in everything they do.”