Suspect charged after vigilante sex sting avoids prison

Jacob Cassiday's mug shot from the Kent County Correctional Facility.
Jacob Cassiday's mug shot from the Kent County Correctional Facility.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man who was confronted on camera by a West Michigan vigilante seeking out sexual predators will avoid prison.

Jacob Cassiday was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months probation and 120 hours on a work crew.

Cassiday previously pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to accost children for immoral purposes. In turn, prosecutors agreed not to file additional charges against him.

Cassiday’s plea deal came the same day his jury trial was set to begin before Kent County Circuit Court Judge Donald Johnston.

Cassiday was among several men featured in videos posted to Zach Sweers’ YouTube Channel, “Anxiety War.” While pretending to be a teenage girl online, Sweers had arranged meetings with the men, allegedly for sex. When they showed up, he confronted them, camera rolling. He turned the videos, as well as records of online conversations, over to Grand Rapids police. That led to criminal charges against seven of the men.

Sweers was subsequently sued by two of the men in the videos, but those lawsuits have been settled.

Authorities have told Sweers to stop trying to catch predators because it is dangerous and said they won’t prosecute any more cases based on information he gives them.

All of the video confrontations have been removed from Sweers’ YouTube channel.