WESTFIELD, Ind. — A man who sexually preyed on underage girls in the Westfield and Carmel area is under arrest nearly a year after police learned of a 12-year-old girl being raped in the back of a car parked in Grand Park. Police said the victim was but one of dozens of teen girls contacted by the man, who used Snapchat to prey on and pressure them into meet-ups.
Benjamin Owen Rollo, 20, was arrested after nearly a year-long investigation that uncovered numerous underage victims whom Rollo met up with, had sex with or pressured into sending him nude photographs.
Rollo is charged with three felony counts of child molestation, two felony counts of sexual misconduct with a minor and two felony counts of possession of child pornography. He was arrested Friday in West Lafayette, nearly a year after a mother told police that Rollo raped her daughter in late July of 2022.
According to court documents, the mother of the 12-year-old victim found out about the sexual assault months after it reportedly occurred after taking away the victim’s cellphone as part of a punishment and then finding messages on the phone where the girl opened up about the assault to friends.
The victim, along with her 15-year-old friend, would end up telling police that Rollo contacted them on Snapchat and originally claimed to be 18 years old. The girls reportedly snuck out a window during a sleepover and met with Rollo who drove the girls to Grand Park.
Rollo allegedly told the older teenager to exit the vehicle and then got into the backseat with the 12-year-old. It is here that the victim told police that he forced himself on her, pushed her down into the seat, took off her pants and raped her.
During the course of the investigation, police obtained Snapchat messages sent by the victim where she confessed to another user about the assault. She called Rollo “way older” than her and said he wouldn’t stop touching her and undressing her even after she asked him to stop.
“He wanted to do stuff and I told him no but he did it anyways,” she confessed in the messages.
“He raped you… call the police,” the other user told the victim.
But the girl said she wouldn’t call the police because she was scared of her mom finding out and getting mad about her sneaking out during the sleepover.
Police were able to find the Snapchat account that contacted the girls, under the username johnny.backer, and traced it back to Rollo. Included in the messages uncovered by police were nude images of Rollo sent to the 15-year-old friend of the victim.
Investigators soon learned that the 12-year-old victim was just one of dozens of underage girls contacted by Rollo using his johnny.backer Snapchat account. Court documents reveal that Rollo’s Snapchat history showed him contacting numerous girls between the ages of 11 and 15, asking them for explicit photos and sending images of his privates while also attempting to meet up with the girls for sex.
In one message, sent not long after the alleged rape in Grand Park, Rollo even bragged about just recently getting with a 13 and 14-year-old.
Rollo also can be seen confessing to his underage preference in numerous messages, including sending a message to a 13-year-old where he said, “I like younger girls.”
The 13-year-old responded by calling him a “pedo,” court documents detail.
In a message sent to another 14-year-old girl, Rollo allegedly said his biggest turn-on was “lil girls like you.”
Court documents detail that investigators ended up discovering another 14-year-old girl whom Rollo picked up in December of 2022 in Carmel, driving her and a friend to the Taco Bell on State Road 32 in Westfield.
Rollo reportedly had sex with the 14-year-old, according to his own account later told to police.
In a series of panicked messages sent on Snapchat following this encounter, Rollo tried to convince one of the girls “it wasn’t rape or forced or anything” and wanted the 14-year-old to get rid of Snapchat evidence from her phone.
“Her mom prob thinks Im like a rapist or som (sic)” he wrote.
On Friday, police executed a search warrant at a home in West Lafayette where Rollo was staying. His laptop and cell phone were seized as part of the search.
While being interviewed by police, Rollo confessed to picking up the 14-year-old from Carmel in December and taking her to Taco Bell. He confirmed he knew the girl was only 14 and admitted to “making out” and getting “handsy” but at first denied having sex with her. At the end of the interview, however, when given the chance once again to confess, Rollo reportedly admitted to having sex with the 14-year-old.
Police went on to ask Rollo about the night at Grand Park with the 12-year-old victim in July of 2022. Rollo again confessed to having sex with the girl, saying he thought she was 13, but called the sex “consensual.”
Rollo told officers he was attracted to girls who were 12 and 13 years old, according to the court documents. He confirmed he was behind the johnny.backer account used the Snapchat account to contact numerous underage girls.
Rollo estimated he had more than 1,000 images on his phone of younger girls.
At a court hearing on Monday, a judge set Rollo’s bond at $100,000.