Airbnb guest charged with attempted sexual assault of host's 7-year-old
MINNETONKA, Minn. - A man who was renting a room at a Minnetonka family's home through Airbnb is charged with attempted sexual assault, after climbing in bed with the host's 7-year-old daughter.
According to the criminal complaint, Derrick Aaron Kinchen, 28, of Lansing, Mich. was found naked next to the child Sunday night by the girl's father.
Officers were dispatched to the home on Bellevue Drive around 12:22 a.m. and spoke with the homeowner who said Kinchen tried to sexually assault his daughter.
He told police Kinchen was renting a room in their home through the Airbnb website and came home around midnight after a wedding. He said they had put their 7-year-old daughter to sleep in their bedroom earlier that evening.
Approximately 15 minutes later, the homeowner walked into his room and saw the lights were on and Kinchen was on the bed next to his daughter. Kinchen was naked and had allegedly pulled the young girl's nightgown up, according to the charges.
The father told officers he yelled at Kinchen, who grabbed his suit coat and wallet and fled the home.
Officers searched the area with the help of a K-9 and found Kinchen hiding in a partially covered fishing boat at a neighboring residence.
The young girl was examined at Children's Hospital and told officers she woke up when Kinchen came into her parents' bedroom. She said he whispered something to her and she felt like he wanted her to keep a secret from her mom and dad. She said he pulled her underwear down but she pulled it back up.
Kinchen was taken into custody and later charged with criminal sexual conduct.
Benjamin Breit with Airbnb reached out to KARE 11 with the following statement: "The reported abhorrent behavior has no place on Airbnb and we will not tolerate it. We are focused on providing our host family with our full support, we are working with the local police to ensure they have our assistance and we banned this user from our community. Keeping our community safe is the most important thing we do. None of our hosts should ever have to deal with anything like this."
Breit also included information about Airbnb's safety policies:
Background Checks and Watch Lists: We screen all hosts and guests globally against regulatory, terrorist, and sanctions watch lists. For United States residents, we also run background checks looking for prior felony convictions, sex offender registrations, or significant misdemeanors.
Risk Scoring: To prevent bad actors from ever accessing our platform in the first place, each and every Airbnb reservation is scored ahead of time for risk. We have a real-time detection system that uses machine learning and predictive analytics to instantly evaluate hundreds of signals to flag and then stop any suspicious activity. When we detect potentially concerning behavior, our team takes a range of actions, including removing a user from the platform entirely.
Detailed Profiles: Each and every person on Airbnb has a detailed profile page with information about themselves and their home. In order to sign up for Airbnb, you must provide a full name, date of birth, photo, phone number, and email address. Hosts can also require that guests provide a government ID before booking their listing, and then the host in turn is required to do so as well.
Minnetonka does not regulate users of Airbnb or other similar websites. Some suburbs like Burnsville and Savage have effectively banned them.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are working to pass regulations before the Super Bowl.
"We want to welcome it to our city and we want to simultaneously ensure safety," said Minneapolis Council Member Jacob Frey.
Frey says regulations would include hosts registering with the city so that their property could potentially be inspected. And they would force hosts to pay taxes like hotels and bed and breakfasts do.