crime file

Child Molesters Moving to Grindr to Find Underage Victims

Well this was only a matter of time: Grindr claims its first (reported) sexual assault with a minor.

Vancouver’s Bren Tynan, 54, stands accused of using the iPhone app to lure, or whatever, a 15-year-old boy for some sexual touching.

It’s going to be easy to blame Grindr for this one, the same way it’s easy to blame MySpace or Facebook for other “hetero” sexual assaults. But while a piece of software may help enable these terrible acts, it’s the users, and their parents and guardians, who bear responsibility. (This isn’t a matter of blaming the victim; this 15-year-old, whether he was after sex or not, cannot be branded a responsible party here.)

While Grindr has a 17-and-over policy, anyone with an iPhone can download the program and just click “Yes” when asked if they are of age.

So what to do? Keep iPhones out of the hands of minors? Not good enough; they still know how to get on Manhunt and open themselves up to the possibility of assault. Like everything else, children’s parents need to be involved, monitoring what they’re doing on what device, and having candid conversations about staying safe on the Internet (and cell network). Oh, and also prosecute the shit out of this perverts, who are scum.

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #brentynan #canada #crime stories and more


  • Nelson G

    Queerty wrote:

    This isn’t a matter of blaming the victim; this 15-year-old, whether he was after sex or not, cannot be branded a responsible party here.

    Yes you can. Because no matter what you think of Bret Tynan, an equal amount of blame goes to this gay teen who lied and exploited a flaw and no doubt used the pedo and gay panic card to escape culpability.

  • Hilarious

    @Nelson G:

    Did you seriously just defend a pedo and claim a gay teen used a “gay panic” card?


  • Hmmm

    It is unclear that a man looking for sex on an ADULT app is a pedophile. Some 15 year olds can easily appear to be 17 or older. Moreover it is reasonable to assume a user on an ADULT site is in fact an ADULT (unless there is compelling evidence otherwise – a picture of a clearly prepubescent child).

    It is also unclear how the act was uncovered and whether the underage person involved was “discovered” or whether he went forward to the police and reported the act.

    I dont use GRINDR, but dont all users have to enter their age? Is it even possible to enter your age as 15?

  • Nelson G

    “pedo” a term used by women as a weapon against men and more recently by gays to descredit other gays.

  • Mark

    Yeah, let’s not pretend that this poor 15 year old boy is just an innocent victim.

  • Mike L.

    @Nelson G: What? Are you some fkng NAMBLA agent of pedophilia or something?

  • Mike L.

    I blame the pedo. But seriously what, I mean WHAT is wonrg w parents, it’s like they don’t have time to sit down and talk w their kids about online dangers.

  • Nelson G

    @Mike L.:
    And when all else fails, invoke NAMBLA.

    While you’re at it, why not yell fire at a crowded theatre?

    NAMBLA is dead. Gone. A black spot in our history. Get over it, man.

  • Andy

    @Hilarious: Pedophiles are not attracted to teens.

  • Hilarious


    I only ever hear pedophiles making that argument.

    Semantics aside no adult has any right to be engaging in any activity with a minor, period. Use all the word play you want.

  • Chris

    Please note: I am NOT blaming the victim. So read all of my comment before you assume so.

    It’s important to note that there are fifteen year olds (and fourteen year olds, and thirteen year olds) that are ACTIVELY LOOKING for sex with older men. I wasn’t one of them, but I’m sure there’s no shortage of other guys on here who were. In those cases, no amount of warning or cautionary tales from the parents is going to prevent that child from trying to get what he wants. Even if the parents realize this about their child and try to prevent him from pursuing it, they are going to slip up eventually. There’s no way around that.

    So what, then, can be done? The only definite solution is for adult men to monitor the age of their partner and make sure the kid is old enough to legally consent. Ultimately, only the two would-be sexual partners have final control over whether the sex occurs or not. Since one of them is too young to make such a decision, that means total control rests on the shoulders of one person only – the adult.

    Now, of course underage kids who are turned on by older men are perfectly capable (and often willing) to lie about their age to get what they want. Most of us were, at one point or another in our teens, willing to do just about anything to get the brand of sex that turned us on. So there has to be a little bit of digging, not just the kid’s word that he’s 18. Ask some questions. Hell, check ID. Because if that kid turns out to be underage, about the only excuse that society is going to accept from you is “he showed me a fake driver’s license.” At that point, I think most of us will agree that you’re not guilty – other than that, you’re a sicko.

    I understand that the LGBT community encompasses a diverse range of sexual tastes, including young men who are attracted to older men and older men who are attracted to younger men. All I’m saying is I think in this day and age, of sexual predators and lousy parents and the Internet making sexual encounters far easier for teens, that having sex with guys in their late teens and early twenties carries a little added responsibility of making sure they’re legal. If you don’t do the research and you wind up breaking the law, don’t come crying to us that it’s not your fault.

    Also, I will point out that guys having sex with kids in their mid-teens are not pedophiles, they’re ephebophiles. Doesn’t mean they’re not sex offenders, I’m just a language nazi.

  • Evan

    Not going to defend the adult here, but not every 15-year-old is truthful about his age. I know I wasn’t, back in the Stone Ages of the Internet when nobody though anything of leaving their kids alone with an unfiltered connection. Only thing that kept me from possibly getting some poor sod in trouble was that I was a trans boy and thus terrified of giving any remotely personally identifiable information.

    Basically, all I’m saying to wait till more facts come out, because a lot of social-networking-tech-related cases are built on a model in which teenage sexual agency is denied and adults are expected to be clairvoyant. If this 54-year-old guy was deliberately trying to ‘lure’ a 15-year-old kid and rape/molest him, then he’s a sick fuck who deserves no sympathy, but there’s no confirmation that that’s the case.

  • Mike L.

    @Nelson G: Well you’re still here defending pedo/hebophiles. Means the spirit of it is not yet dead.

  • Nelson G

    @Mike L.: I never defended the man. That is a fantasy you created for yourself which you then tried to obscure by invoking pedophilia and NAMBLA.

    By the way, hebophile is a term used by boylovers.

    I’m just saying.

    What Queerty doesn’t mention, and other blogs have, is that this is situation that had been existing for some time which was bought to a halt when the mother found out.

    And as I wrote earlier, which you also seem to have conveniently ignored too, I’m just saying, and which I will now clarify, for your sake and everyone else, there is an equal amount of blame to go around.

    I’m obviously not in the minority here.

    Bret Tynan didn’t force that APP on that kid’s phone, the kid did.

  • Hilarious

    If you can’t tell a teen just by looking then you need your eyes checked. Sure some teens look older than they say. All the more reason to avoid the slippery slope of trolling for boyish looking 18 year olds and start dating/bedding real men who actually have mens features.

    Gay men are always quick to defend this bullshit more than anyone because many gay men have an obsession with youth and guys legally as young as possible.

    You won’t run this risk if you stop looking for 18-20 year olds and pretending that at almost 60 that a 30 something year old man is too old for you.

    Blaming the teens is downright stupid. It’s not like gay boys their age are running around waiting to date them and take them to prom. They’re lonely and these freaks exploit that loneliness.

    I frankly don’t care what their excuse is. They knew what they were doing, that’s why they like them young.

    Wanna skate the line of dating 18 year olds? Fine, you run this risk.

  • Hilarious

    Actually I’ll reword that from many gay men to some. I know quite well not everyone is fucked up in the head and trolling for little boys.

  • MountainHigh

    A 15-year old isn’t a child and this isn’t “pedophilia.” Pedophilia has a specific definition — the sexual attraction to prepubescent children. Don’t be inaccurate to make a sensational headline.

    This is a case of sexual assault / statutory rape, as the Age of Consent in Canada is 16, unless the parties are close together in age.

    And while you can’t blame the 15 year old for the encounter, you most certainly can blame him for having Grindr on his phone, using it to talk to someone 54 years old, agreeing to have sex with a 54 year old and then meeting said 54 year old for that sex.

    The 54 year old is responsible for ever being in that room for sex with the kid in the first place. Teens under the age of consent are sexual and some of them do go after adults. That’s life.

    It’s up to adults to recognize that fact and behave responsibly, i.e., failing to report teens using adult apps — and meeting teens for sex in any case.

  • Mike L.

    @Nelson G: Well you should have said that it was happening for a while, until the mother found out, that changes everything.

    It’s funny that you mention that about hebo/hebephilia b/c I found out the word when reading about some catholic agents trying to defend the church by saying that it’s wasn’t pedophilia that was going on b/c the kids were pubescent, hense hebephilia, lol! So I guess you are right it’s used by boylovers (the agents of the catholic church I swiped the word from to include them and others that like pubescent boy like the 15 yr old probably is).

    I also want to comment that hillarious has a pint about older guys trying to pick up younger guys, act your age and don’t be stupid, ask questions ask for an ID and other forms you can find out if you feel the guy might be lying to you, otherwise you’ll be caught up in some underage sex scandal when you weren’t looking for an underage teen.

  • peter

    a 54 year old man hooking up with a 15 year old is fucked in the head. not because he’s attracted to young looking guys, he probably can’t help that. but this guy should know that he is taking advantage of someone who doesn’t know better and probably permanently scarring the guy for life. especially since now his parents know and he’s got to deal with all the shame involved with both being sexually assaulted and coming out.

    saying that the teen was as responsible as the adult or even remotely responsible is absolute BULLSHIT. the predator has the smarts, the kid doesn’t know what the fuck he’s doing. think back to when you were 15, or even when you were 20. think about your first sexual experience with a man. were you completely in control of what you were doing or how you were feeling? as in control as you are doing the same thing at 50. motherfucker was preying on this kid and he should be locked up.


    I really feel the need for a shower after cyberstrolling thru this thread……………

  • Hilarious

    Gotta love the people giving thumbs up to blaming the teen.

  • james_in_cambridge

    I’m never going to defend this guy either. But I gotta tell you, I started hooking up with guys when I was 14 & by the time I was 15, I had hooked up with a few much older guys (in their 30’s & 40’s. Assuming they lied about their age, they were probably even older). I’m sure I’m not the only one among you who has. So yeah, this kind of guy makes me go ewwww but…I wasn’t a victim either. I knew what I wanted & have always been attracted to older guys. So I don’t really know what the answer is but I can imagine that if my hook-ups with those older guys was exposed, THAT would have been the mortifying thing and not the sexual encounters themselves which I sought out.

  • Hilarious


    It’s not about you knowing what you’re doing or not.

    The reason this is more common among gay teens is loneliness which is exploited by those who are much older and aware of that fact.

    It’s like a fox stumbling across a bunch of newborn baby chicks.

    Gay teens in high school don’t get to experience the things straight teens do so they’re socially under-developed, that doesn’t give full grown adults the right to swoop in and exploit it.

    We literally age more slowly socially as gay men and women because most of us don’t get to start dating, having sex, and exploring who we are until our 20s, 30s, or even 40s.

    So why should the teen be blamed? Raging hormones, no outlet, and probably no one to talk to.

    The reason some guys go straight for the newbies is because they know they can land a hottie with the six pack who would never look at them twice even a few years later in life. It’s not a secret, but it is pathetic, and in some cases like the article…illegal.

  • Andrew

    I’ll march with Focus on the Family if that’s what it takes to get rid of fucking NAMBLA and ANY gay person who has even a sense of support for those vile, disgusting scumbags. Despite the fact that most pedophiles identify as heterosexual, the conservative, anti-gay community has actively tried to pin it entirely on the gay community, and people defending this pervert in any way should be condemned and discredited by the LGBT commuity to show we clean up our shit even when the breeders and Catholic Church turn the other way.

  • MountainHigh

    The dude isn’t a pedophile — the teen was 15. One more year and there wouldn’t be a legal issue here, only an ethical one.

  • DR (the real one, not the guy who made post #12)

    I disagree with Queerty’s assertion that the child cannot hold some of the blame. He downloaded an application which requires him to be a certain age, and he lied in order to do so.

    However, that does not mean that the 54 year-old gets a free pass by any stretch of the imagination. He had the ultimate responsibility to stop the relationship when he found out about the kid’s age, and he failed in that regard. If he knew and still took advantage of a child, that’s a real problem.

    I’m doubting he’s so naive that he didn’t know. He was on Grindr, probably on the web, and caught himself a twink. A kid may look older than he is, but spend a few minutes talking to him, and anyone with even a shred of common sense can tell the difference between a teenager and an adult. Especially a 54 year old man.

    I know there are a lot of guys who will defend what he did and say that the kid knew what he was doing and this is just a case of sexual puritanism, but that’s not true. This isn’t some kid hooking up with someone just a couple of years older; the age difference is 39 years. This guy was almost four times as old as the youth, and nothing can excuse that in my mind.

    So, my quick summation: Kid needs a lesson on age-appropriate dating and why lying about your age is a bad thing, and Mr. Tynan needs to understand that children are off-limits.

  • Andrew

    @Chris: Really it is common sense, if you are hit on some one who looks very young then say thanks but no thanks and leave. There is no excuse what so ever for a 54 year old man taking advantage of a 15 year old boy (even if it appears to be consensual because it isn’t because the 54 year old man has life experience and can manipulate the 15 year old).

  • frank

    Any time one of the parties is an older adult, i.e over 30, and the other is underage, i.e. less than 18, in my opinion the adult is a p[redator and should be charged and arrested. There is enough bad press in the gay community without having to accept/challenge/defend any adult gay person taking advantage of some kid under 18.
    Wake up folks use one head or the other but leave “children” to be with “children” and NOT pedophile or ephebophile adults.

  • Andrew

    Wow. The willingness of some people here to defend this guy and those thumbing them up, even though luckily in the minority, makes me ASHAMED to be affiliated with any of you taking this position.

    I can be civil about most topics. Child Abuse is NOT one of those topics. There is a wrong and a right on that issue, and defending this guy in ANY WAY is WRONG.

  • peter

    i think this is a really hot button issue for us because there’s been so much in the media linking homosexuality and pedophilia. bottom line is if this guy had been fucking a 15 year old girl, nobody would be defending her for being able to pursue her unique sexual interests nor would anyone blame her for downloading the app (maybe some, but I’d assume less than in this case). child abuse is fucked up and a 54 year old man who thinks its alright for him to engage in a sexual relationship with a 15 year old he met on the internet obviously has major ethical issues. its not about morality people, it’s not about sexual freedom, it’s not about who is to blame, its about the well-being of this kid.

  • sam

    @Hilarious: cos lord knows straight men don’t look for barely legal girls

  • B

    No. 29 · Andrew wrote, “There is a wrong and a right on that issue, and defending this guy in ANY WAY is WRONG.”

    One problem is that the facts are not completely clear from the article and I suspect some readers are making different assumptions as to the facts than others. For example, the article claimed grindr was used by an older guy to “lure” a kid, but what grindr really seems to be is a symmetric service in which all the users are looking for someone to hook up with so any “luring” seems to be more rhetoric than reality.

    Of course, once they met (under the assumption that age was not apparent from grindr’s photos/profiles), alarms should have gone off in the older guy’s head.

  • R


    And that makes it okay for you to do it? Your defense is straight guys do it too so it’s alright? You’re a moron.

  • DR


    Part of the problem would be Queerty editors did a poor job of explaining (or even seriously mentioning!) what Tynan is charged with. He’s charged with sexual assault, invitation to sexual touching, and sexual interference. NOT luring.

    First of all, age of consent in Canada is now 16. This young man is 15.

    Next, I went to the Canadian Department of Justice Website, and found the following information on “invitation to sexual touching” and “sexual interference”:

    I found the definition of “sexual assault” on another website (the DOJ site isn’t the most user friendly if you’re not familiar with Canadian criminal law):

    Sexual Assault (Sections 271, 272 & 273 of the C.C.C.)

    This section is not aimed specifically at children. This is the legal term for ‘rape’. In Canada we have three ‘degrees’ of sexual assault – sexual assault, sexual assault with a weapon, threats to a third part or causing bodily harm and aggravated sexual assault. Sexual assault is the intentional application of force, directly or indirectly, to another without their consent for sexual purposes. This section can include behaviours such as unwanted touching, forcing an individual to touch another, assaulting with a weapon, threatening to harm a third party, wounding an individual in the course of a sexual assault or endangering the life of an individual during the course of a sexual assault.

    Looks like the authorities are pursuing charges which allege force. Not sure why, but that’s one of the charges, doesn’t seem to fit with the sexual interference and invitation to sexual touching….hmmm.

  • rhydderch

    I don’t think anyone is defended the old dude however that kid was on Grindr so one would assume that he was of age. So even if the old dude was say, 19, some of you (hilarious) would still have their panties in a bunch calling the 19 y/o a perv and a pedophile. Where the fuck was the boys parents? So basically it’s the responsibility of every gay man to start carding dudes we meet online for fear that they’re lying about their age. We’re gonna give that 15 y/o a pass because I guess he was lonely and doesn’t know any other gay people and was taken advantage of. Meanwhile this kid lives in Vancouver,BC (sounds rural and remote to me)WTF? It’s pretty disturbing that this boy got online and lied about his age to Tynan, yet he’s the one who is being crucified by the media. Screw that lying piece of shit kid.

  • Ronald

    There should be harsher punishment for pedos and a rehabilitation for victims. If these pedos were gays, they give homosexuality an aweful name!

  • mk

    I don’t think it’s practical or realistic to say parents need to monitor all their underage kids’ communications on devices like iphones. I don’t know what the answer is for these problems, but I really don’t think parental monitoring is a feasible solution especially when a kid is as old as 15.

  • ait10101

    The age of consent is 14 in many countries. It is fairly arbitrary. It used to be 14 in Canada until a moral panic led to an increase to 16. The ethical issues are, of course, another matter. Legal and ethical issues often get confused in people’s minds.

  • mk

    @rhydderch: Kids lie to try to get access to all kinds of things they are too young for like booze, cigarettes and night clubs. Sex is just another one of those things. It’s the reponsibility of the adults in the situation to be make certain of age and not indulge someone under the legal minimum. It’s the adults who are the mature ones and the adults who will face legal consequences if they make the wrong move in this.

  • rrr

    @ ait10101

    It’s still legal in Canada for a 14 or 15 year old to have sex with someone less than 5 years older who has no special relationship of authority over them.

    I wouldn’t call it a “moral panic”. An adult fucking a 14 year old kid wasn’t in line with modern Canadian cultural views or norms. There was also some concern that the age limit was attracting exploitation by pedophiles from the US. Finally an American pedophile with a computer full of child porn got a suicidal 14 year old with mental problems who was under doctor’s care to sneak out of his home and then was caught fucking him in a hotel. Canadian authorities couldn’t charge the guy with anything but possession of child pornography, which created more drive to increase the age limit when it comes to sex with adults.

  • Jason

    Grindr has an 18 and over policy, for what it’s worth. And the minmum age listed is 18. Although one doesn’t have to give an age… Or any description at all. I use it and have the age filter set at 35-45 (i’m 39) and still get a bunch of messages looking for hook-ups from self-described 18-year-olds with no photos. Of course, I don’t know the details in this case… but it would be as illegal if the old guy was 20, 25, 30 etc. One goes to a gay dating app to meet people,and one arranges a meeting because they want to — this kid wasn’t lured from a playground. It’s still icky , don’t get me wrong. But isn’t there the potential foe this sort of thing on any online gaydating/cruising site?

  • R

    @rhydderch: Wow you’re an ass. Just stop.

  • B

    No. 41 · Jason wrote, “Grindr has an 18 and over policy, for what it’s worth. And the minmum age listed is 18. Although one doesn’t have to give an age… Or any description at all. I use it and have the age filter set at 35-45 (i’m 39) and still get a bunch of messages looking for hook-ups from self-described 18-year-olds with no photos.”

    Sounds like Grindr’s software has a bug if the filtering is not working.

    Aside from that, let’s try a somewhat analogous situation. Suppose you meet a significantly younger person in a bar where the minimum age for entry is 21. As you go in, you notice that someone at the door is checking IDs. You could easily assume that anyone in there is at least 21 years old, although a younger guy might have gone in earlier before the ID checker was stationed at the door (which you wouldn’t necessarily know or realize at the time). If it was a particularly sleazy bar with a “back room” and dim lighting, it may be hard to estimate age visually.

    Under those circumstances, should a person who is fooled by an under-aged guy be criminally charged, given that he reasonably would expect that anyone he met in the bar was an adult and that the bar owner had a legal responsibility to keep under-aged people out? (This isn’t a question about what the law is but about what it should be.) Also, what responsibility should services like Grindr have in terms of verifying that ages are accurate, particularly given a propensity of many to believe anything that comes out of a computer (“I saw it on the Internet, so it must be true”)?

  • rhydderch

    @R: didn’t know that you were the only one here entitled to an opinion. apparently name calling is your forte

  • james

    the funny thing is that im 20 years old and i got banned from grindr because they thought i was underage!

  • justiceontherocks

    @james: It’s the best thing that ever happened to you. Now you can spend time on something worthwhile, like sneaking into bars.

  • Jason


    The filter just apples to guys I see on my end (so I only see guys in the range i picked) but not who can see me — so I still get messages from really young guys. That should be past tense — I haven’t used it in a while. Frankly, it works too well. Who has time for hook ups?

    I wonder how this story has played out?

  • Peter

    As a gay teen, I can relate to the teenager. He probably was looking for sex, because being 15 is fucking scary, and awkward, and u are desperate for sex, yet at the same time scared out of your mind about it, and you have no idea what the fuck to do in a situation like that. Especially if like me the teenager isn’t out, then he isn’t going to be meeting guys his age at parties or w/e so possibly the only way short of coming out is to find guys secretly on sites like Grindr or Manhunt.

    No teenager is ever true about their age on internet sites, most teenage boys have lost count of the amount of times they’ve clicked a button that says ‘only continue if you are at least 18 and are over the legal age for viewing pornography in your country’. It is possible that the 54 year old man had no idea that the kid was underage, and talks with us teenagers don’t really help, because we all know the dangers, and we all think, oh, that won’t happen to me, I’ll be more careful…

    However, unless the kid looked very old for his age, it would be hard to not at least have some doubt about his status as a minor, and the 54 yr old guy should have at least verified before attempting to go through with something like that. The only way to stop teenagers doing things like this though is pretty much what every gay guy wants, for it to be ‘okay’ in society to be gay, to have no fear of coming out, and thus being able to have sex the way heterosexual teens do, by meeting kids their own age

  • Mike1ke

    If the “teen” is lying about their age to adults they are not being assaulted! They are misrepresenting themselves and if anything, the parents should be prosecuted. They are messing with adult lives here and that’s not right. Laws need to be changed to protect innocent adults being tricked by “underage” teens! I’m so fed up with this nonsense letting “kids” get away with anything simply because they are “underage”, that’s total nonsense!

  • Mike1ke

    @Hilarious: He sure did and I am defending him as well. He was lied too! He’s not Sylvia Browne folks!

  • Mike1ke

    If a teen lies about his/her age to an adult you can’t turn around and call the adult a “pedo”, that is total bullshit, they were lied to and mislead. I think some of you need to get a dictionary…

  • Mike1ke

    @Hilarious: If the teen is lying about his age it is his fault, he’s the one who mislead the adult. Laws need to be changed in this country to protect adults who are being mislead online. If the same teen went out and murdered someone they wouldn’t be protected by that because of their age. Some of these negative posters sound like they were “assaulted” as kids and are taking their hate out on innocent adults. I totally agree that if an underage teen is online/app and they specifically say they are underage that it would be the adult’s fault for going any further with them but not when they are being lied too, that is just wrong.

    Get some therapy!

  • Mike1ke

    And yes I see I misread the post. Apparently the adult knew the teen was underage and still met with him. So I agree that was wrong, what I don’t agree with is teens lying to adults so they can hookup and then blaming the adult for having sex with someone underage when they had no clue they were underage to begin with. I’ve said my peace…

  • capsize

    The adult has to be responsible for who he is speaking to, but as the article states he tried to ‘lure’ the 15 year old for ‘sexual touching’ we can only presume that no sexual activity took place. However, the 15 year old is to blame. He is using a tool known widely for quick hook ups and sex and there were multiple things he could have done to prevent being ‘lured’ if he wasn’t comfortable with it (which obviously he must not have been to report the older guy). People on Grindr tend to be very polite and just by simply telling them you’re not interested usually gets that individual to leave you alone, on top of that there is a blocking feature. The younger guy could have taken these actions which I presume he didn’t. On the other hand, if the kid is into older men and enjoyed whatever the older did to ‘lure’ him, reporting him was a malicious act as the older guy is right to presume someone using Grindr is 18 years or above, but he could have digged deeper into the kids age to avoid landing into this situation. I’m 16 and I do use Grindr, but I do so cautiously. I’ve never had a meet with a guy mainly to stop him getting into trouble (even though in the UK 16 is the age of consent) and I think other underage users should have the same curtsy and realise the features in place on the app to stop this happening.

Comments are closed.