The USA tends to be at least a year ahead of Europe in the take up of
the Internet and use of all its features. Both the benefits and the problems
have expanded fast in the US and this has certainly been true of Chat
rooms. Law Enforcement agencies have powers in the US to proactively enter Chat
rooms under cover and communicate with perpetrators who are exchanging
illegal material, with the aim of securing evidence to enable an arrest.
IN a number of cases perpetrators who appeared to be looking for children
have arranged an offline meeting only to discover that the child was a
an FBI agent.
The USA tends to be at least a year ahead of Europe in the take up of the Internet and use of all its features. Both the benefits and the problems have expanded fast in the US and this has certainly been true of Chat rooms.
Law Enforcement agencies have powers in the US to proactively enter Chat rooms under cover and communicate with perpetrators who are exchanging illegal material, with the aim of securing evidence to enable an arrest. IN a number of cases perpetrators who appeared to be looking for children have arranged an offline meeting only to discover that the child was a an FBI agent.
The National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) www.missingkids.com/cybertip in the USA works in partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) the U.S. Customs Service, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and runs a national CyberTipline. NCMEC monitors stories about inappropriate contact in Chatrooms and works closely with Childnet International and the INHOPE Association (see www.inhope.org). NCMEC staff have assisted by providing the following examples of Chat danger. The FBI claim to have investigated some 700 cases of potential illegal activity in Chat rooms.
In New Zealand
the police have set up a special unit to combat the exchange of child
pornography in Chat rooms. This unit is dealing with an average of 100
cases a year of people exchanging child pornography in Chat rooms.
San Souci, 22 years old and an Air Force Second Lieutenant attending UCCS
full-time was arrested on Friday, 10-13-00, by the Colorado Internet Crimes
Against Children Task Force when he contacted an undercover officer posing
as a 13 year old girl in the parking lot of a local shopping centre. San
Souci had arranged the meeting with what he believed to be a 13-year-old
girl via the Internet. The purpose of the meeting was to go to San Souci's
residence in Colorado Springs and have various types of sexual contact
with the girl, who was actually an undercover Police Detective from the
Colorado Springs Police Department. San Souci had first initiated contact
via the Internet two days before the meeting. San Souci was booked into
the El Paso County Jail on charges of Enticement of a Child and Criminal
Attempt Sexual Assault on a Child.
Taken from the COLORADO SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT NEWS RELEASE see http://www.colorado-springs.com/police/newsrelease/newsrele.htm
October 7 2000
Florida man has been charged with two felonies following accusations he
attempted to have sex with a teen-age Troy girl he met over the Internet,
alleges that Boris, while living in New Jersey, met the 14-year-old girl
in an Internet Chat room. The two continued communication via letters
and telephone calls, during which they discussed sexual acts and birth
control methods, police said.
According to the complaint, Boris also sent the girl an explicit photo. Boris then arranged to meet the girl Oct. 4 at her home while her parents were out of town, the complaint said. He was arrested by Troy police when he was spotted near her home. Bond was set at $150,000. Boris faces an Oct. 19 preliminary exam.
July 17, 2000,
On July 17,
2000, the Union (MO) Police Department contacted the NCMEC Unit for technical
assistance with an online enticement case. A fourteen-year-old girl in
their town had been chatting online with an older man via email and ICQ
when she went missing. With the co-operation of the girl's father, the
police were able to retrieve some of the logged conversations. These logged
chats were sent to the Exploited Child Unit for analysis. It was discovered
that the older man mentioned that he would be willing to drive to Missouri
to pick the child up and suggested that the child tell her father that
she was "going to Las Vegas to visit a pretty sick person'.
13th, 2000, the CyberTipline received a report from a woman who was Instant
Messaged by a suspect who mistakenly thought she was an eleven year old
girl. The woman logged the conversation with the suspect in which he began
talking in sexually graphic terms. In addition, he told the "child" that
he would leave his house at that exact time to drive the eight hour distance
to meet her. He asked if they could engage in sexual activities when he
got there and offered to bring the "child" beer or wine coolers. He said
that he would "drive really, really fast" so he could get there before
her mother came home from work. The reporting person sent a copy of the
logged chat to the CyberTipline.
ECU staff contacted the reporting person and gathered all of the information she had regarding the incident. This information included the name and location of the hotel, the floor number, the exact date, the phone number for the suspect, and other specifics relating to the incident.
public records database searches on the suspect phone number. The results
indicated a possible name, address and social security number for the
suspect. The Cybertipline Report with detailed information was forwarded
to the jurisdiction where the incident occurred (TX). Local law enforcement
and the FBI- Houston investigated the incident and found corroborating
evidence that indeed this individual travelled from New York to Texas.
The suspect has polio and no criminal history. He has also failed a polygraph
examination. The suspect has been charged by the state of Texas with assault
of a minor and statutory rape. These are Class III Felonies in Texas.
On August 25, 1999, the defendant was indicted by the Grand Jury for indecency
with a child by contact and sexual assault of a child. Federal charges
are not going to be pursued because it cannot be confirmed that the defendant
knew the child's age at the time that he travelled to Texas. However,
when the defendant picked the child up at her house, she came out of the
house with slippers on and a Teletubby backpack. At this point, he knew
that she was a minor but he proceeded to take her to a hotel anyway and
assault her. He had no criminal history.