The above-displayed photograph, which accompanied an entry in Ohio's Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification (eSORN) system, is real. The picture depicted a then 34-year-old man named Brian Peppers, who was listed in that registry due to a conviction for Gross Sexual Imposition in Lucas County, Ohio, in 1998.
Although many viewers were of the opinion that the image was fake (possibly a picture of some type of mannequin or a digitally manipulated photograph), and that the entry in eSORN was an erroneous one (possible a mistake, an inside joke, or a hacking prank), we verified both the photo and the entry in several ways:
- We contacted the Ohio Attorney General's office, who told us: "This is an accurate photo of this offender."
- The same Brian Peppers appeared on a list of registered sex offenders in Lucas County.
- A record existed for court proceedings related to cases involving a person named
Brian J.Peppers, charged with two counts of Gross Sexual Imposition.
- We heard from several people who lived in or near Lucas County and said they'd encountered Brian Peppers. One of them told us he had a relative who attended school with Brian Peppers and forwarded us some high school yearbook photos to document it:
Brian Peppers' unusual physical appearance might have been due to a condition such as
Brian Peppers passed away in February 2012 at the age of 43.