A sting operation by police in Tukwila, Washington last week snared a top figure in Oculus VR’s leadership, reports Seattle-based NBC affiliate KING 5. Dov Katz, Oculus’ head of computer vision, was arrested for “commercial sexual abuse of a minor,” according to a police report. He was booked on Dec. 21.
Charging documents obtained by Geekwire describe an incriminating text message exchange between a phone number later shown to be Katz’ and an undercover officer working from an area hotel.
In those documents, the person Katz believes to be a prostitute first states she is over 18. She later asks Katz if he is comfortable being with someone younger, and he indicates he is.
Katz: how old are you anyway?
Officer Sudel: 19, u?
Officer Sudel: K, younger girls ok with u?
Katz: Yes. More energy to keep up.
Officer Sudel: Can I be honest with u? I’m new to all this and a little younger than my ad says but I promise u won’t be disappointed.
Katz: How much younger?
Officer Sudel: 15 ... I’m sending my pic.
Officer Sudel: Just please don’t say anything ok?
Upon his arrest, police say Katz told them he was there to “rescue her and call the police.” Investigators informed him that he should have called them first.
The text messages cited in the charging report also included a discussion of Katz obtaining condoms, the number needed for the encounter, and whether the girl would consent to unprotected sex.
Katz joined Oculus in 2013, and stated that he is “leading Oculus’ computer vision and machine learning group” on his LinkedIn profile.
Tukwila police said Katz originally responded to a sex for money ad on Backpage.com police placed as part of the sting operation, codenamed “Buyer Beware.”
A request for comment from Oculus sent this morning was not answered at the time of publication, and we’ve likewise reached out to the Tukwila police department for more information. Polygon will update this story as necessary.