Note for Parents/Guardians – As you read through this release, understand the importance of monitoring your child’s activity on social media. You should have, and require, unfiltered and spontaneous access to the content on their phones and any social media accounts created. In many of these cases, parents are the first to know about such activity and can intervene before such predators become ‘hands on’ with their victims. A very valuable booklet called ‘The Internet Safety for Parent Guide’ is available for download on the Sheriff’s Office homepage at www.ycsoaz.gov.
In late February 2018, YCSO deputies were dispatched to a residence in Dewey regarding a sex offense report. The parents of a 15-year-old girl/victim had discovered a secret Facebook page their daughter created and was apparently accessing on the cell phone of a fellow student at school. The messages attached to this Facebook page were sexually graphic and inappropriate. The man communicating with their daughter was identified as Zachary McQuillen, age 20.The Facebook page listed girl’s true date of birth.
The parents explained that their daughter did not have access to a cell phone or her own computer at the house, thus the need to use other sources. It was learned Zachary was known to their daughter when they attended the same school during the previous school year.
A deputy reviewed the messages which occurred over a period of time in December of 2017, and confirmed the graphic sexual content. Although not visible at the time, the deputy saw comments from Zachary referencing pictures of his genitalia he sent to the teen victim while asking for sex. The victim admitted initiating a social media connection with Zachary on a friend’s phone and then creating a Facebook page to continue communicating. She knew her parents would not approve, so they were unaware of the page until recently discovered. She acknowledged Zachery sent several explicit pictures to her via Facebook messenger and admitted sending sexually explicit photos of herself in return.
Following the initial meeting with the family, the deputy located Zachery at his home on Barbara Road in Prescott Valley and placed him under arrest. He was later released pending search warrant service involving his seized cells phones and social media accounts. Zachery claimed he was unaware of the victim’s age and the contact was consensual. The review of cell phone and social media content, which occurred in March, identified additional victims lured by the Zachery for sexual exploitation.
One of the victims, a 15-year-old Prescott Valley girl, was contacted and admitted to ongoing social media contact with Zachery including the exchange of sexually graphic photos. During one of the social media FaceTime sessions with her, Zachery threatened suicide with a knife if she did not expose herself. The victim complied and he threatened this victim on other occasions to obtain additional sexually graphic photos.
By April 2nd, two additional victims had been confirmed.
Based on the investigation to date identifying additional crimes, Zachary was arrested April 3, 2018, and charged as follows:
Between 10/15/2017 and 12/20/2017 Zachary McQuillen committed two counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, two counts of Distribution of sexual exploitation of a minor, and three counts of Luring a minor for sexual exploitation, against three victims,15 years of age at the time of the offense and known to the suspect.
He remains in-custody on a $25,000 bond. The investigation is ongoing to confirm any additional victims. YCSO thanks these parents for being proactive to protect their kids.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov