A 53-year-old San Jose resident and director of education at a non-profit science museum and zoo in San Mateo was caught in a vigilante child sex sting late Tuesday night.
Carl Oosterman, who has worked at CuriOdyssey since 2004, was confronted around 10pm July 6 after arranging to meet up with someone he thought was a 14-year-old boy from Los Angeles visiting the South Bay for the holiday weekend, according to a video posted to YouTube.
Screenshots of messages provided to San Jose Inside indicate that Oosterman asked the boy about his past sexual history, if he was looking for older guys and what he would be comfortable doing that night, from cuddling to sex. He said he “didn’t mind” the minor’s age.
The 53-year-old’s last message said, “This feels kinda wrong.”
A video of the confrontation, during which Oosterman admits his intentions for the evening, was posted to the video sharing site by CC Unit. The California group—short for “Creep Catch”—has the stated objective of protecting children from online predators by posing as minors and videotaping adults who show up expecting an illegal sexual liaison. As of Friday evening, the 10-minute clip had gathered more than 25,000 views.
According to Ghost, the anonymous San Diego resident who started CC Unit in 2018, Oosterman first contacted a “decoy” account on Grindr, a popular dating app primarily for gay men, before the two planned to meet up at a nearby Target and head to Oosterman’s South San Jose home.
“I just don’t want someone like him to work with kids ever again,” Ghost told San Jose Inside, adding that the stings have previously led to arrests. “He’s a danger to society.”
Attempts to reach Oosterman for comment were unsuccessful, and checks of inmate databases at Santa Clara County and San Mateo County jails didn’t turn up a record of his name.
CuriOdyssey’s educational staff bio page was edited Friday—no longer listing Oosterman as Director of Education. According to earlier versions of the site, Oosterman “manages our year-round youth leadership development program” and also worked as “community programs supervisor at Mid-Peninsula Regional Open Space District and senior program director for youth, teen and family programs at Bay Area YMCAs.”
Information pulled from the museum’s website and past news coverage showed Oosterman’s job at the museum and zoo involved extensive contact with children, including leading educational camping trips.
Formerly known as Coyote Point Museum for Environmental Education, CuriOdyssey published a statement to its Facebook and Instagram accounts Friday, saying one of their employees had been placed on administrative leave during an internal investigation into the incident and staff contacted the “appropriate authorities.”
“We cannot provide additional details at this time as we are still learning more of the facts regarding the situation,” the statement said. “We can assure you that in the handling of this matter, we will be guided by our mission and values, the first of which is integrity: We do what’s right.”