By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A YouTube video featuring a group known as the “Predator Poachers” confronting an alleged predator from Cheyenne has been released one week after the incident that led to the man’s arrest.
The 52-minute video featuring group leader Alex Rosen confronting 19-year-old Cheyenne resident Clayton Tanner was released on Saturday. As of Monday, it had garnered tens of thousands of views and over 1,100 comments.
Tanner was arrested on July 4 for possession of child pornography and soliciting to engage in illicit sexual relations after his confrontation with the group. He was booked into the Laramie County Detention Facility. He was released later in the week.
“I don’t think you’re bad, I don’t think you’re evil, I just think you need some help,” Rosen tells Tanner early on in the video. “I know you’re a church-going guy, I know you’re a nice dude.”
Certain words, such as “porn” and “rape,” have been edited out of the video due to YouTube’s terms of service.
One of the men involved in the group, who declined to comment on the record, provided Cowboy State Daily last week with more than 50 screenshots of the alleged conversation between Tanner and a person who identified herself as an 11-year-old girl. In fact the character was created by Predator Poachers as a decoy.
The screenshots of the conversation identified one of the people in the conversation as Clayton Tanner.
Early on in the discussion, Rosen asks if Tanner brought a knife with him. Tanner claimed in chats that he wanted to cut the 11-year-old and drink her blood and said he wanted to do the same to her baby stepsister.
“I am not cutting very hard and no arteries like the neck,” one of his comments said. “It’s like when you cut yourself with a pocket knife [or] with a regular knife on your finger or whatever that’s how I’m going to cut you…but all over except for the neck.”
In the video, the two men discuss the alleged plans to cut the 11-year-old “girl” and drink her blood, which Tanner says he would have only done if the girl had consented to it.
Tanner admits to having a pocketknife, which he hands over to Rosen.
“The plan was also to cut up her and…her infant sister, is that correct, Clayton? It was mentioned you wanted to do that,” Rosen said.
“It was her idea,” Tanner said.
Rosen questions whether Tanner has talked to other children on social media applications before, which he admits.
“It is fair to say probably dozens of underage girls have tried to talk to you on social media before?” Rosen asks.
“Yeah,” Tanner responds. “I mostly ignore them.”
Tanner also said he received much of his child pornography from the messaging application Telegram, which was removed from the Apple app store in 2018 due to illegal content being traded through chats.
“I don’t want to go to jail,” Tanner said.
“I don’t have any handcuffs,” Rosen responded.
Attraction to Minors
Rosen asks Tanner when his attraction to minors began. Tanner responds that he does not know. Rosen then asks if Tanner was molested at one point. Tanner replies in the affirmative and says that could be partially to blame.
Tanner is also asked how long he has been viewing child pornography, but he denies doing so. Rosen responds that the man sent child porn to “Emily,” the decoy the group created.
“I was in a group…through like Instagram and I guess they sent me some or whatever,” Tanner said.
Rosen responds that Tanner sent two pornographic photos of children to “Emily” and claims Tanner said he had child porn saved on his phone. Tanner then admits he does have photos on his phone.
The group leader then asks Tanner for the cell phone, which he hands over after some prodding from Rosen.
“Don’t you dare delete anything,” Rosen said.
The phone actually belonged to Tanner’s mother. Rosen asks Tanner where his cell phone is, and the man responds that it is with the Cheyenne Police Department.
Rosen asks if the police are investigating Tanner for something “child-related.” Tanner says no, but he tells Rosen that he was once arrested for having child pornography, but “[he] got it down to a misdemeanor.”
“A 17-year-old girl accused me of child [porn],” Tanner says in the video. “We were sending [photos] back and forth. I guess she got scared or whatever and told someone about it.”
Much of the confrontation in the video includes Rosen reading back messages from the chat between Tanner and the decoy and questioning him about various fetishes, including coprophagia, or eating feces.
The video concludes with Tanner’s arrest.