As Child Porn Websites Spread, Arrest Total Highest In Five Years

Print

Homemade videos showing children, some pleading for help, being sexually abused in torturous ways by parents, relatives or others, are among the most vile, yet valued, commodities on what is known as the “dark Web,” says USA Today. Among the worst: infants used as toys for the videographers’ and viewers’ sexual gratification. It is an ever-expanding part of the Internet where Drew Oosterbaan, the Justice Department’s unit investigating crimes against children, says purveyors of the material have found social status based on their continued and escalating activities.

Last year, more suspects were arrested for child exploitation crimes — 7,386 — than at any time in the past five years. That number is dwarfed by an estimated 50,000 people in the U.S. who are believed to be “consistently trading illegal images” involving children at any time, says Brad Russ, who oversees federally funded training programs for hundreds of investigators assigned to 61 national task forces. The enormous number of participants, Russ says, is based on the downloads of known prohibited videos and photographs that can be tracked to individual computers. The universe of known images has ballooned since 2002, the year of the creation of the Child Victim Identification Program, which serves as a national repository for information on young victims, says John Shehan of the Exploited Children Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Comments are closed.