Content Warning: Portions of the following entry contains mentions and/or depictions of sexual violence or abuse. If you need support or you or a loved one are in an abusive situation, please contact the National Sexual Violence Resource Center or call 1-800-656-HOPE.
Brian Peppers was a sex offender from Ohio, whose police photograph went viral online in 2005. The police photograph of Peppers, who reportedly suffers from either Apert Syndrome or Crouzon Syndrome, led many to believe that the picture was fake. Memes that mocked and leered at his physical appearance came in the form of image macros and edits that used the mug shot in a variety of ways. Peppers died in 2012.
On March 4th, 2003, authorities took the original photograph of Brian Peppers, a 34-year-old man who is shown seated in a wheelchair. Peppers was convicted of Gross Sexual Imposition in Lucas County, Ohio, in 1998. According to Ohio’s Electronic Sex Offender Registration and Notification (eSORN), the victim was a female child.
On March 24th, 2005, the LiveJournal  account Brian-Peppers posted its first entry. They wrote, "hey guys i just wanted to say this is a great community and i love brian peppers and if i was under 13 and a girl i'd totally let him touch my girl parts."
In 2005, Peppers' photograph went viral, thanks, in part, to its popularity on YTMND. On March 26th, 2005, the first YTMND site went live. In less than 16 years, the creator, user shadow22, received more than 19,000 views for the site, which featured Peppers' police photograph and the text "You gon get raped" (screenshot below, left).
Other sites soon followed. On April 25th, YTMND user luvmoz posted an image edit of Peppers hiding in a mailbox for the site "Brian Peppers no." The post received more than 422,000 views in less than 16 years (shown below, right).
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.
Through their investigation, Snopes published childhood and teenage yearbook photos of Peppers (shown below).
As the meme grew in popularity, a series of YTMND sites that purported to contain messages from Brian's family and friends did as well. On January 31st, 2006, YTMND user grimaf published "The Truth About Brian Peppers," which reported that Brian was wheelchairbound, living in a nursing home and was charged with groping a nurse. While Peppers did use a wheelchair, he was convicted of abusing a child victim, not a nurse. The post received more than 350,000 views in less than 16 years. Others posts that were allegedly by a relative of Brian's soon followed.