DOCUMENT: Bizarre, Sex, Crime

"Hello Kitty" Devotee Nabbed In FBI Sex Probe

Man, 22, claimed to have “15 year old girl personality”

Hello Kitty

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Hello Kitty Perv

AUGUST 4--A 22-year-old Indiana man who describes himself as a “Hello Kitty” devotee who loves “cute things” is jailed on a federal criminal complaint charging him with traveling to California to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, according to court records.

In an interview last month with FBI agents, Erik Epperson, a pizza restaurant employee, admitted the late-January tryst with the San Diego girl, whom he met on Facebook via a mutual friend. Additionally, a U.S. District Court complaint alleges, Epperson copped to having sex with about a dozen other female juveniles and said that he “recorded himself having sexual intercourse” with three girls and took a photo of another girl’s nude vagina “because it looked nice.”

Epperson, pictured at right, told investigators that he “sent nude pictures of his penis to several girls,” adding that he “could not find any girls over 18 years old to date because of what he believed to be his own 15 year old girl personality.”

As detailed by FBI Agent Jacob Overton, Epperson explained “that he loved cute things, especially anything that was ‘Hello Kitty’ brand items.” He added that he dyed his hair and “sometimes wore feminine clothing (including Hello Kitty brand clothing) to get a reaction out of people.”

Epperson’s MySpace page is filled with an assortment of “Hello Kitty”-themed photographs and, as seen below, images from an anime convention. His Facebook page reports, “IM just a young dude looking for a good time with good people. I am up to about anything.”

A search of Epperson’s Facebook page--on which he has employed the aliases "Erik Okuzaki" and "Tomoyo Yamasaki"--revealed that he used the account to chat with “numerous female high school students,” including one girl with whom he exchanged sexually explicit messages, Overton reported.

The FBI investigation of Epperson is continuing, with agents seeking to identify other girls with whom he may have had sex. An examination of his “computer hard drives and media” has turned up “videoclips of Epperson having sexual intercourse with a girl in a car, with a girl in a bathroom who has a distinctive tattoo on her body, and with a girl in an unknown bedroom space.”

Epperson, who told agents that he downloaded Japanese pornography and “liked girls who dressed gothic or punk style,” allegedly wrote to a Facebook friend in early-February that he had flown to San Diego “for a Japanese girl.” He also told the FBI that he was in the process of joining the Navy “so that he could travel to Japan and see the world,” according to the July 29 criminal complaint.

This desire to serve country, however, will have to wait until after the conclusion of the criminal case against Epperson, who is being held without bail in an Indiana lockup. If convicted of traveling across state lines for the purpose of having sex with a minor, Epperson faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. (5 pages)