What’s Hiding Behind the Hard Drive?

For better or for worse socializing has changed. Technology has made it such that people have hundreds of friends with whom they haven’t spoken with in years. All over the world people communicate with one another without ever opening their mouths. Not much longer than a decade ago text messaging, online instant messaging, and social media were brand new means of communication. Talking to someone generally required an in person meeting or a telephone conversation.

These well-known but often forgotten truths of the pre-advanced technology era help shape our understanding of our rapidly changing world. Everything from socializing, to keeping in touch, to developing intimate relationships has drastically evolved in our lifetimes.


On July 31st a young, Ohio woman named Chelsea Martinez decided to travel to Minnesota. Chelsea made this decision after developing an online relationship with a man she had never met. Chelsea met with Jason Robert Nisbit on the morning of August 1st and the pair went to Shager Park together. After reaching an area of the park chosen by Nisbit, he proceeded to attack Chelsea.

According to law enforcement this is where he beat her, bound her hands and feet, and stabbed her in the neck. Law enforcement quickly learned of Chelsea’s disappearance when her sister reported her missing. Shortly thereafter a Rice County deputy saw a car parked with the keys in the ignition and discovered that the car belonged to Chelsea.

Nesbit allegedly confessed to police that these events took place and led them to the area where Chelsea’s body was buried. Nisbit has been charged with second-degree murder.


It is no secret that online interactions pose a threat to children and make them susceptible to predators taking advantage of such a forum. Appropriate monitoring and supervision of children online helps alleviate this threat. It is less well known that adults are also easily susceptible to online predators. Here are some tips to protect yourself while looking for the one:

  • Be aware of sharing. The information on your profile is not only susceptible to cyber attacks but is also shared with complete strangers with whom you are deemed to be compatible. Oversharing information like your work or home address, cell phone number, or names of friends and relatives could pose a real threat to yourself or others.
  • Don’t give yourself a false sense of security. All day we make judgments about the world around us in order to protect ourselves and safely and successfully make it through the day. The tools we use to make such judgments are not readily available to us online. This means we use information like “interests,” pictures, occupations, and age to judge our online counterparts.
  • Be smart. Use the common sense you learned as a young adult when it comes to taking an online relationship offline. Meet in public places, tell friends or family who you are meeting, let others know what time you expect the date to end. Do not make yourself vulnerable in a search for romance.

Our Mankato criminal defense attorneys and family lawyers understand that online dating is a convenient way of meeting a new flame. However, it is imperative that you be safe and not step outside the law. At Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office, we wish you the health and happiness in all of your relationships, and we are happy to discuss any legal matters you may be facing.

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