Katrina Aliff is a 23-year-old South Carolina woman and former Ohio dog training instructor who is accused of taking an 11-year-old on a cross country trip from Minnesota to Greenville, SC, where authorities say she molested the child.
She’s now facing federal charges.
The complaint alleges that Aliff knowingly caused the child victim under the age of 12 to “engage in sexual acts after traveling from South Saint Paul, Minnesota to Greenville, South Carolina.” On September 8, 2019, South Carolina law enforcement officers were notified of a kidnapping out of South St. Paul, Minnesota. Authorities figured out a possible location where the child was believed to be “which was identified as Aliff’s current residence.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Aliff, Who Has Competed in Ohio Dog Shows, Is Accused of Knowingly Crossing a State Line With the Child
The charges were filed in the District Court of the United States for the District of South Carolina Greenville Division. The indictment alleges that, between September 6 and 8, 2019 in South Carolina and elsewhere, Aliff “did knowingly cross a state line with the intent to engage in a sexual act” with a person “who had not attained the age of 12 years.”
The indictment alleges that Aliff “did knowingly transport Jane Doe #1.” The affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, filed in September 2019, reports that the affiant was a special agent with the FBI. Aliff was accused of one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child under age 12 and one count of transportation and travel of a minor with intent to engage in criminal and illicit sexual activity.
Aliff’s online record trail revolves around animals.
Aliff previously competed in a dog show at the Ohio State Fair. A results page says she showed a border collie named Chase, placing fourth. She was also listed as a certified dog instructor/coach from Ohio at one point. Online records show the accused woman has Ohio addresses in the past.
In 2014, she wrote with a photo of a dog on Instagram, “Going to the groomers to take care of the messy furball so he can actually go to the state fair Thursday after pic to come.”
Her Instagram page says that, as of 2016, she was living in Columbus, Ohio with a group of female roommates who attended an art and design school. It’s not clear why she was living in South Carolina.
There are many applications that parents can get downloaded on their children’s phones to monitor youths’ electronic behavior, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson advised in a news conference about online predators. He encouraged parents to not “stop being a parent…Have real conversations about the dangers out there. We wouldn’t let our children go around the world by themselves, but we let them go around the World Wide Web by themselves.”
2. Authorities Say They Found the Child in Aliff’s Bed Without Clothing; Aliff Filled Her Social Media Accounts With Pictures of Animals
When authorities arrived at Aliff’s apartment on a Sunday in September 2019, Aliff’s roommate consented to them accessing the apartment, the federal complaint says, and the child “was found in Aliff’s bedroom with Aliff.”
According to the complaint, law enforcement officers “observed Aliff wearing a tank top and no additional clothing to include undergarments when she answered her bedroom door.”
The child “was found on the far side of the bed in Aliff’s bedroom without any clothing.”
Aliff was detained and federally arrested. The complaint accuses Aliff of giving multiple statements to law enforcement “detailing the planning and journey to pick up (the child) in Minnesota and returning with (the child) to South Carolina.”
An Instagram page in Aliff’s name is almost entirely filled with pictures of animals, including a dog, cat, ducks, and horses. “Triplets!! I was very surprised that our girl duck is now a mommy of three little ones even though it came of a price.. Poor gal been widowed twice but that’s okay because she has babies!!!!” she wrote on Instagram in 2014. She captioned a photo of a dog on a slide: “Ahhhhhh this is scary and this slide is super wet MOM!!!!!!!”
She also posted about hanging out at a lake that year, writing, “Wednesday evening: Gorgeous sunset a great blue heron flew across the lake moments before, missed it!”
3. Aliff Is Accused of Meeting the Girl Through the Amino App
The complaint alleges that Aliff told law enforcement she met the child in March 2019 through Amino, an Internet app. They began conversing on Amino and eventually transitioned to texting and messaging on another internet app called Discord, according to the complaint. The Amino app was described by Bark.com as a “network of fandoms.” People join communities revolving around different interests. Discord’s website describes it as “All-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that’s free, secure, and works on both your desktop and phone. Stop paying for TeamSpeak servers and hassling with Skype. Simplify your life.”
By late April and early May, Aliff and the child expressed their feelings for each other and “began a more intimate relationship,” the complaint alleges.
On September 2, 2019, the girl’s father discovered messages between Aliff and the child which prompted the child’s father to destroy the phone, the complaint contends. The child continued to communicate with Aliff until September 4, 2019 through a tablet with Wi-fi connections when visiting family members, according to the complaint.
Aliff then began planning and communicating with the girl about her intention to travel to Minnesota to get the girl and take her back to Greenville, South Carolina, the complaint says. They used video chats and texts to do the planning.
4. Aliff Arranged to Pick the Girl Up at a Minnesota Gas Station & Stabbed Her Cell Phone to Destroy It, Authorities Say
Aliff and the child determined a location, a gas station near the girl’s home and a time, around 1:30 a.m. central time, for the girl to meet Aliff, according to the complaint.
The gas station was within walking distance of the girl’s home. Aliff went there but the girl didn’t show up so Aliff moved her vehicle toward the neighborhood to try to locate the girl, the complaint alleges. She saw the girl walking down the road with her belongings.
She placed the belongings in her car, and they began the trip to South Carolina, according to the complaint, which adds that Aliff attempted to destroy her cellular telephone to prevent law enforcement from tracking her by placing the phone in coffee. She also stabbed the phone multiple times with a knife and put it back into coffee, at which point it became non functional, the complaint alleges.
Aliff and the girl stopped for food, gas and to purchase a single beer. They journeyed through Wisconsin and Kentucky on their way to South Carolina, the complaint says.
5. Aliff, Who Was the Subject of a Court-Granted Mental Health Evaluation, Is Accused of Introducing the Girl to Her Roommate as a Friend But Then Engaging in Sexual Activity With Her
They arrived at her apartment on September 8, 2019, and Aliff introduced the girl as a friend to her roommate, according to the complaint. Her roommate left them alone and they drank some of the beer and then bathed together in a bathtub. They began engaging in sexual activity when they were in the bathtub together, the complaint alleges.
They drank more beer and Aliff allegedly described the girl “as a little bit loose ‘cause of the alcohol.” They continued the sexual activity in Aliff’s bedroom, according to the complaint.
On September 10, the government moved for detention, according to court records. The court was told Aliff “was in need of physical and mental health care,” documents say, and the court granted the defendant’s request for a mental health evaluation. She was committed to a federal facility for a reasonable time until the examinations could be completed.
The federal Bureau of Prisons gives this information about Katrina Marie Aliff:
Release Date: UNKNOWN
Located At: MCC New York
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