Cracking Down on Child Porn - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Cracking Down on Child Porn

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It’s a crime mostly in the shadows. A crime hidden from view, stored on computers and shared over obscure file-sharing sites. “There are millions and millions of images and movies of child pornography being distributed every single day,” says Massachusetts State Police Detective Captain Thomas Kerle, who is on the front lines of the battle against child porn. “These videos not only can you see it, but you can hear the children in the background screaming for help and in pain. Often these photos depict torture or bondage or some other extreme cruelty as well,’ Kerle says. “When we talk about child pornography, the unfortunate reality is we’re talking about rape and abuse of infants and children,” says Middlesex County District Attorney Gerry Leone. He thinks many would be surprised at how pervasive the problem is, “the number of investigations, the number of prosecutions, the unfortunate reality is, if we wanted to be online all day, every day, we have enough to keep our investigators busy all day every day looking at child pornography and child abusers,” Leone says.

It turns out, child pornographers can be anywhere. In 2007, William Howe Constable, a Nantucket High School sailing coach, was arrested on charges of producing and distributing child porn. Federal prosecutors said there were at least 30 victims in the case. Constable died in federal prison in 2008 after being sentenced to 25 years to life. “It is the guy next door,” Kerle says. Captain Kerle has seen it all. Men, women, people with families, people with Phds, even a man over 80 years old, creating and collecting child porn, and sharing it with others. “These are people who have a sexual interest in children. They will take images as trophies for their own personal pleasure after it happened,” Kerles says.

In many cases, Leone says, people involved in child pornography, often sexually abuse children, “we know those who collect and view child pornography will be contact offenders.” Child porn is mostly traded on the internet, made available to others through downloads on peer to peer file sharing networks. The porn is eventually stored on external hard drives, thumb drives, cds, any device that can store digital data. At the state police crime lab in Maynard, the Internet Crime Task Force examines computers and hard drives for child porn, which is often carefully cataloged. “They will have a directory for 3-year-old victims, and another directory for 5-year-old victims. Of they’ll know the name of the series so they’ll have a directory set up by victim’s names,” Kerle says. Each name on a file is a child, a child whose abuse never ends. “It doesn’t go away, they have to live with the fact those images are out there, every single day,” Kerle says.

District Attorney Leone says the war against child porn is being waged in every courthouse in the state. “We know if we can get on the front end, and get abusers at that point, we may be pre-empting and may be preventing what they will become,” Leone says. It all begins by forcing the crime of child porn, out of the shadows.

WEBLINKS:

http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=2936

http://www.mass.gov/?pageID=eopsterminal&L=3&L0=Home&L1=Crime+Prevention+%26+Personal+Safety&L2=Internet+Safety&sid=Eeops&b=terminalcontent&f=msp_divisions_investigative_services_msp_internet_crimes_against_children_task_force&csid=Eeops

http://www.middlesexda.com/
 

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