The rumors stated that Christopher Keys was kidnapped by two black men, taken to a hotel and robbed of his money, keys and cell phone.
However, the real story is more complicated than that.
Because of this rumor, local news station 13 WMAZ did an investigation into the situation.
Verify: Facebook post about carjacking at north Macon CVS not real https://t.co/xGcG5l0Q1m— 13WMAZ News (@13WMAZ News)1590095825.0
The rumor shared around Facebook stated that Keys, a married man and local youth pastor, was kidnapped from a local CVS parking lot after shopping and forced to a motel. There the kidnappers stole his phone, about $70 cash and his keys.
After he got away, he recovered his phone which was discarded in a Walmart parking lot and tried to call 9-1-1. However in his story, no one answered.
When he did get a hold of emergency services, he was told by law enforcement there was nothing they could do for him.
This was the story Keys told his friends and family and this is what was passed around Facebook.
This article is a wild ride and a demonstration of how crazy FB is and how quickly false info spreads The post cl… https://t.co/f4H4xHO4UY— Daniel Windham 🧂 (@Daniel Windham 🧂)1590095539.0
Married youth pastor fabricated story about being kidnapped to cover up soliciting male prostitute: police - https://t.co/FEN4LU2UYV— Clay #STAYSatHOME! (@Clay #STAYSatHOME!)1590186083.0
911, I've been kidnapped, driven to hotel, and robbed at gunpoint. Also, this definitely isn't a hoax to hide going… https://t.co/uE8GuRGePv— dimplasm (@dimplasm)1590186354.0
His story, though, is not what actually happened.
Yes, Keys was robbed and yes, he surprisingly recovered his phone from a Walmart parking lot. However, he did not end up at the motel because he was kidnapped.
Instead, he was there soliciting sex from a Craigslist ad.
Keys told deputies he was just going to lie to his friends and family and state he was kidnapped. From there, the rumor spread.
When 13 WMAZ heard of this rumor, the idea that they missed a police report for a kidnapping worried them, so they looked into the case. The statement that emergency services didn't answer was concerning as well.
Because of all the confusion surrounding Keys rumors and 13 WMAZ's story, the Bibb County Sheriff put out a statement and set the record straight.
Once the truth came out, deputies charged Keys with "solicitation of sodomy" which is how Keys was outed.
@askboomer1949 Typical.— Robbert (@Robbert)1590437566.0
@PinkNews He also tried to pin this on 2 black men, saying he’d been kidnapped. I don’t feel sorry for him— ⚖️🇨🇦Emma STAY HOME🏳️🌈 (@⚖️🇨🇦Emma STAY HOME🏳️🌈)1590435915.0
Damn shame that in the 21st century some men are still so afraid of being labeled gay or bisexual they will create… https://t.co/pSnzMpCoOM— WriterMarkWooden (@WriterMarkWooden)1590173911.0
Oh, I see. Another crime in defense of maintaining the norms of white straight cis masculinity, because admitting y… https://t.co/cpcVB3SyPD— Dr. Aphra Behn (@Dr. Aphra Behn)1590513523.0
Despite the use of the term "sodomy" in the charge, you cannot be charged with a crime based on it. However, offering to pay for sex, or solicitation, is still illegal in much of the United States.
There is also an issue with the fact that this story outed Keys' sexuality. Some see this as just a horrible side effect of the truth of the story.
It'd be best if someone who isn't heteronormative is allowed to control when or if they are outed, but spreading a harmful rumor forced the truth out.
@10Plus20Birdy @ImpeachmentHour is "soliciting" asking for it or offering it? i don't want to get in trouble on my next visit...— Khlamydia MF Kardashian (@Khlamydia MF Kardashian)1590170143.0
@Jayforce @escaped_ferret @RawStory I have several friends who came out very late in their lives and they admit tha… https://t.co/VfnWfn2mMk— Bee Geesus (@Bee Geesus)1590168013.0
Keys has since been let go from working as a youth pastor for the Wesleyan Drive Baptist Church. The sheriff's department is still investigating the robbery as well, though without a focus on kidnapping.