The picture looks too gruesome to be real.
Origins: The above-displayed photograph, which accompanies an entry in Ohio's Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification (eSORN) system, is for real. The picture depicts a 37-year-old man named Brian Peppers, registered due to a conviction for Gross Sexual Imposition in Lucas County, Ohio, in 1998.
Although many viewers were of the opinion that the image was fake (possibly a picture of some type of mannequin or a digitally manipulated photograph), and that the entry in eSORN was an erroneous one (possible a mistake, an inside joke, or a hacking prank), we verified both the photo and the entry in several ways:
* We contacted the Ohio Attorney General's office, who told us: "This is an accurate photo of this offender."
* The same Brian Peppers appears on a list of registered sex offenders in Lucas County.
* A record exists for court proceedings related to cases involving a person named Brian J. Peppers, charged with two counts of Gross Sexual Imposition.
* We heard from several people who live in or near Lucas County and said they'd encountered Brian Peppers. One of them told us he had a relative who attended school with Brian Peppers and forwarded us some high school yearbook photos to document it:
Brian Peppers' unusual physical appearance might be due to a condition such as Apert's Syndrome or Crouzon's Syndrome. He appears unusually short in the eSORN mug shot because he is wheelchair-bound. zzzzz
The address in his eSORN entry indicates he is (or was) a resident of a nursing home. His court docket indicates he was sentenced in 1998 to 30 days in jail with another 5 years probation for Gross Sexual Imposition, which is defined in Ohio as "unwilling sexual contact with one who is not one's spouse."