Chat with sex offenders
Furthermore, they may result in convictions of individuals who may never have abused a child, ultimately presenting a dilemma to treatment-providers. Readers — This report by Noah Pransky, my new Journalism Hero, is so well done and so shocking, I hope that it gets reposted throughout the blogosphere: (I have removed the video because it automatically starts playing anytime you go to my blog.) It details how men who go online to adult chat rooms and begin chats with people who say they are of legal age, then get entrapped as “sex offenders,” when the date bait “reveals” that she is actually underage.The scientific and practical challenge is determining how investigators can distinguish, with relatively limited initial evidence, which cases are more likely to involve production, solicitation of minors, and/or contact offending.Many, but not all, Internet offenders are motivated by a sexual interest in children.Average sentences are getting longer for comparable child pornography offenses, indicating that Internet offenders will occupy custodial beds longer and will require longer terms of supervision if they become eligible for probation/parole (Wolak, Finkelhor, & Mitchell, 2009).Given the nature of the Internet, this type of sexual offending is clearly an international problem, with political, legal, and geographic complexities.
Whatever the explanations for this increasing demand, it is clear that the number of potential Internet offending investigations already greatly exceeds law enforcement resources. Many law enforcement agencies are still dealing with a backlog of cases arising from Operation Avalanche (an investigation that began after the discovery of Landslide Productions in Texas and its large database of members purchasing access to child pornography Web sites) and other, more recent international police operations that have identified very large numbers of online offending suspects.Faced with more cases than they can handle in a timely fashion, law enforcement and other professionals who deal with these offenders need to prioritize their resources. Given an overarching goal to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse, it makes sense to prioritize and triage child pornography cases involving production or high-level distribution over possession alone or "passive" distribution (e.g., uploading images to file-sharing programs but not actively trading with others); solicitation cases involving attempts to meet in real life over online fantasy activities (e.g., sexually explicit chat); and cases involving Internet offenders who have already sexually assaulted children or are currently doing so over those with no known contact offending history.High-priority cases, in which children are suspected to already be victims or are at imminent risk, should receive the most attention.Watch the piece and then try to remember some of the details when people tell you: “I can’t let my children play outside. He was not in any kind of chat room for kids gaming rooms or anything just trying to meet someone his own age which turned out to be a cop in and adult place.There are PREDATORS in the area.” Who are the real predators in this story?