‘Number neighbor’ challenge leads to rape, officials in Utah say

U.S. & World

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah (ABC 4 News) – A popular cell phone game helped a Sanpete County man meet a teenage girl who he later raped, according to charging documents.

Issac Alonso is behind bars after the alleged incidents, which began earlier this summer when he texted someone using the “Number Neighbor” challenge — texting his exact same number, with the last digit one higher or lower than your own.

Alonso reached a man over text message who didn’t know what the game was, so that man asked his daughter. That daughter and Alonso began communicating; later, Alonso would ask her for nude photos, which she wouldn’t send him.

He asked her to meet up, but the victim had a bad feeling.

“I think I’m about to get raped,” she texted a friend, according to court documents.

Charging documents state Alonso raped the girl.

“He took the daughter out on a date, and it turned sinister from there,” said Kevin Daniels, Sanpete County Attorney.

“He took advantage of this opportunity. And we allege that a rape occurred,” added Daniels.

“If we’re not careful we’ll see more and more of this. We let our guard down over social media because we think that oh, well ya know, you’re a little more brave. So you let your guard down,” added Daniels.

This incident isn’t the only recent headline connecting the Number Neighbor challenge and possible criminal activity. In Los Angeles, a woman reported having been sent death threats after a text message exchange that started with the social media challenge.

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