HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- An Atlanta-based podcaster called Houston police after a teen boy called her show saying his father was sexually abusing him.
Hayim Nissim Cohen, 38, was arrested earlier this month in Harris County and charged with sexual assault and continuous sexual assault of a child.
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Cohen is the father of nine adopted boys. Charging documents list the victim in both cases as the same son.
The arrest came after the admission by the 17-year-old on Twai'yah Paynes' podcast, BlindSkinnedBeauty, on the website Spoon. Paynes said she is not sure how the teen found her podcast on Jan. 30.
"I don't think that was a coincidence at all," Paynes said.
Initially, she said he started typing messages in the chat and quickly admitted that he and his brothers were being sexually assaulted by their adoptive father.
"A kid comes on and goes, 'I have a very heated topic,'" Paynes said. "He goes, 'What do you do if your life is in danger?'"
Paynes said the teen ended up calling into the podcast and having a conversation.
"When I heard his voice, I knew he was crying out for help, but he was afraid," Paynes said.
According to charging documents, the teen told the podcaster he planned to wait until he turned 18 in a few days to take action against his father.
She said she called a friend, who was a police officer, to join the call and talk the scared teen through the next steps.
The officer and Paynes tried to keep him on the line and glean as much information as possible so she could locate him and find help. The teen would not give any names or an exact location where he lived. He only said that he lived in Texas.
In total, he was on the podcast for about 45 minutes.
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"I said 'I'm about to find these kids,'" Paynes said. "(My friends) said, 'It's impossible. You don't know anything about this kid. He didn't give you his name. How are you going to find him?' I said, 'I'm going to call the police.' They said, 'Twai'yah, Texas is huge!'"
She said she made more than 200 phone calls trying to track down where the teen lived and who he was. It took 48 hours before Paynes learned Cohen was the alleged perpetrator.
"God knows my heart," Paynes said. "He knew I was going to be the one to go above and beyond expectations to make sure that kid was safe."
The Atlanta podcaster then called the Houston police.
Days later, he was charged.
"(Authorities) did call me the day Mr. Cohen ended up incarcerated, and they told me just for confirmation the kids are safe," Paynes said.
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Child protective services told ABC13 they have custody of six of Cohen's nine adopted children.
Cohen is facing a previous sexual assault charge from 2019 stemming from allegations made by a foreign exchange student living at their southwest Houston home.
Cohen is due in court on Thursday, Feb. 23.
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