Traverse City man said he was harassed over date. The prosecutor said otherwise

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

A northern Michigan man's complaint about being harassed after he said he tried to meet up with a girl he met on a dating app led to charges against him for targeting a youth for immoral purposes, Michigan State Police said Wednesday.

Ian Franklin Machir contacted a trooper at the state police's Cadillac Post on Jan. 11 to report the alleged harassment. The 26-year-old said that when trying to meet a girl he connected with on a dating app last summer, "he was ambushed by a 'Chris Hansen wannabe' who accused him of being a predator," the agency said in a statement.

Chris Hansen, a former Metro Detroit journalist, hosted NBC’s “To Catch a Predator," a series that ran from 2004-07 and featured sting operations for online child predators. 

Machir claimed a video filmed in July and posted on YouTube compromised his identity "and now he was receiving messages about this video, harassing him, and calling him a pedophile," state police said. "He has also lost his job because of the video."

Investigators twice scheduled interviews with Machir, but he canceled both, saying "he didn’t have anything else he needed to talk about and that he was good," according to the release.

Troopers obtained a warrant for Machir's phone and seized it at his Traverse City home. The device was turned over to the MSP Computer Crimes Unit and a report was submitted to the Grand Traverse County Prosecutor’s Office.

An arrest warrant was issued Tuesday; the MSP Fugitive Team arrested Machir later that day and took him to the county jail.

He was arraigned Wednesday in the 86th District Court in Grand Traverse County on one count of accosting children for immoral purposes and using a computer to commit a crime, records show.

Bond was set at $25,000, state police said.