Archive for Sunday, September 7, 2008

Police cracking down on child porn

A Lawrence man recently pled guilty to having thousands of child pornography images, and now, police are cracking down on this growing problem. The FBI in Kansas City works on hundreds of child pornography cases a year. 6News reporter Jesse Fray explains the tools prosecutors are using to put those with the illegal pictures behind bars.

September 7, 2008

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— Investigators process more than 300 child porn cases at the FBI's Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Lab every year.

The lab and Project Safe Childhood, a federal program, are instrumental in prosecuting people found with the illegal images, said Kim Martin, assistant United States attorney.

"We've gotten bigger, tougher, stronger laws federally for this type of case and really have gone the extra mile to try to put some teeth in these laws, to help protect the children," Martin said.

The lab, 4150 N. Mulberry Drive, has been around for about five years and also trains a few thousand officers in the area each year in how to investigate child porn cases.

Two officers from the Lawrence Police Department have been through the training. It was that agency's computer forensics work that helped Martin successfully prosecute Richard McNett, of Lawrence.

McNett recently pleaded guilty to having more than 13,000 child porn images. His wife became concerned when he kept locking himself in a room with a computer, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said. McNett faces 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.

Martin, who prosecutes federal cases in Kansas, wasn't able to talk about specifics of the case. But, she said most child porn is more outrageous than you might think.

"These are not adults made to look like children, dressed up to look like underage children," she said. "These are real children being forced into graphic sexual situations."

Martin said child pornography is a tremendous problem, but she's hopeful work on the federal and local levels will help bring the illegal activity to an end.

Comments

igby 6 years, 11 months ago

What needs to be done is the Web serving company should be sued in civil court for not blocking the links to the sites. Google, Safari, AOL, Yahoo and so one. They deliver the illegal goods without regard to what the contents are. The AG or USAG could file on all of them for the loss cost to the state and federal government for going after these distributors and down-loaders and sub-distributors. This would force the web servers to block any URL that does not comply with the law.

compmd 6 years, 11 months ago

Igby, your suggestion is, for logistic and legal reasons, quite impossible. I suggest the following reading:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

Trouble is that if the subject is one day under 18 years old it is considered "child porn," one day over, perfectly legal. Suffice to say sometimes it is very hard to tell the difference. The FBI uses a huge list of files of "known" child porn and they simply run that list against what is on the computer and if they get a hit, your going to spend some time in federal jail on child porn charges, Wouldn't it be nice if the FBI shared that list so that you could double check your own computer?

M. Lindeman 6 years, 11 months ago

When they nail these bastards, 10 years isn't enough. Cut there nuts off and put them behind bars for life with out parol. Never allow them to have any freedom, freaks like them never change. Just my two cents

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 11 months ago

"Never allow them to have any freedom, freaks like them never change."Recidivism rates are very high, but I have a friend who is a registered sex offender, and he's as trustworthy as anyone I know. One size fits all laws rarely work because some of them do change.

ltownwhitegirl 6 years, 11 months ago

i totally agree with you rdragon i understand what your saying.. these bastards are gross and will never ever change! when they get out all they will do is find a different site that the FBI dont know of.... nasty people!

Christine Anderson 6 years, 11 months ago

I have personal experience with the sick stuff. I have two sons, and I share custody of them with their father.My ex's second wife( after me) was brave enough to call the cops about what was on this man's computer. The LPD were very interested, and took it seriously. After several months, computer forensics determined that my ex husband had deliberately downloaded( yes, they could determine that it was NOT via spam, etc.) images of nude, pre-adolescent girls. Two LPD detectives brought him in for an interview, and they GOT A CONFESSION from him! He admitted to choosing to download those images.Guess what? The LPD DOES do their job, but we in Dg. Co. have a very messed up bunch of DA's et judges. A very lazy ADA named AMY MC GOWAN refused to press charges!!!! Since my ex was not charged in this matter, I am forced to continue the shared residential custody arrangement. What's to stop this man from looking at naked young boys, if he's hasn't already?When I asked Ms. Mc Gowan why she did not bring charges, she stated that she felt the evidence was "too thin". For s*@!'s sake, HE CONFESSED. I think what she reallty meant was that it wasn't a big enough case to get her the feather for her hat.Spread the word to all child porn perverts you know out there; they are safe in Dg. Co.!!

Alexander Neighbors 6 years, 11 months ago

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Quigly 6 years, 11 months ago

HEY!SWEET! Now they are cracking down on child porn. I guess it wasn't such a big deal before. Only NOW, do we see article about cracking down on child porn. I think this might be an award winner here

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

misplacedcheesehead (Anonymous) says: "Spread the word to all child porn perverts you know out there; they are safe in Dg. Co.!!"No they are not, "McNett recently pleaded guilty to having more than 13,000 child porn images. His wife became concerned when he kept locking himself in a room with a computer, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren said. McNett faces 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine."That is not safe and child porn is not tolerated in Douglas County, unless by "safe" you mean 10 years in Federal prison. If the DA said your case was thin, then your case was thin. Maybe she told you that because child porn laws are prosecuted by the Feds, not the local ADA. Amy McGowan does not have the authority or power to prosecute violations of Federal Law. Next time take your case to the proper authorities.

igby 6 years, 11 months ago

misplaced: You just gave me a great idea. Suppose you went over to his house for a visit with the boy's and while he and the boy's are out back BBQ-ing you can log on to his computer and down load hundreds of pic without him knowing about it. Hiding the folder inside another folder, he will never know it's even there until the police kick his door in and haul him off too jail. What a great idea!Then call the cops and tell them he looking at child porn and locking himself in his room. Lol.Then you can file for divorce and get the kids, house and cars and alln his 401k.

compmd 6 years, 11 months ago

Replace "child porn" with "marijuana" and there would be people screaming about such huge punishment for victimless crime. I don't like kiddie porn, nor do I like the people who trade in it; I've done my part in punishing some. However, we as a society need to be cautious with where we draw the line for criminal action. We risk the destruction of people's lives because they possess an ordered set of binary digits that they may or may not have even known they possessed. As I said before, while I find kiddie porn revolting, we need to be calling out for a crackdown on the manufacturers of it, those who perpetuate its existence, not necessarily the consumers. Data can be forever replicated; crucifying someone for possession is pointless when the true criminals unabashedly continue to put children into pornographic material.

JoRight 6 years, 11 months ago

Sigmund,I doubt you can just stumble upon kiddie porn; and as the article says, it's not young adults dressing to look young, it's actual kids.Also, computer forensics is becoming well known. Be sure when you throw away your computer, to dispose of the hard drive in a safe matter, or heck, keep it. It doesn't take a trained professional to get in there and start stealing information.

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years, 11 months ago

"What needs to be done is the Web serving company should be sued in civil court for not blocking the links to the sites."That'd be like suing Sony for manufacturing TV's that allow Japanese game shows to be shown on them. The internet isn't "at fault" anymore than it's Frigidare's fault that your wife's cooking sucks.

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

smarty_pants (Anonymous) says: "Sigmund, your post seems like you are taking up for the molesters."Then you need to go back and reread them, this time for comprehension.smarty_pants (Anonymous) says: "It doesn't matter if they are 1 minute less than 18 years old."Which was my point, one minute it is child porn and the next minute perfectly legal and there is no way to tell which one will land you in Federal prison for ten years.smarty_pants (Anonymous) says: "But I suspect these are pics of little boys and girls."Suspect all you want but there is no way to tell because it all falls under the same overly broad language and legal definition , "child porn." See my earlier post pointing out that fact.

rousseau108 6 years, 11 months ago

Sigmund, actually the DA's office can prosecute child porn on the state level. It falls under K.S.A. 21-3516: Sexual Exploitation of a Child.

Zype 6 years, 11 months ago

Well said, compmd.@rousseau108: I don't think anyone here is trying to imply that the guy who got convicted of possessing 13,000 images of child porn accidentally stumbled upon it.

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

rousseau108 (Anonymous) says:"Still, I doubt you "accidentally" download 13,000 images of child porn."Oh I completely agree! I was trying to make a hyper technical legal point about the emotions in the phrase "child porn" There is "child porn" involving adolescent children and then there is "child porn" involving near adults. I think most people see a distinctions between the two and It would be nice if our laws and our language recognized those differences.Again I don't believe these were the facts here and it is near impossible to accidentally download 13,000 images of child porn. I would have no problem finding this guy guilty beyond a reasonable doubt on these facts.compmd (Anonymous) says: "and trusting computers is a much more difficult thing to do than many realize."Especially when you work with them day in and day out. GIGO (Garbage In Garbage Out) is more of a reality than most realize and lets not even begin to talk about computer security. Daily are the reports of breached systems from government to private businesses. I am thinking seriously of demanding my financial accounts be taken off line and taking physical possession of my stock certificates.

BrianR 6 years, 11 months ago

I've found pictures in my cache that I have no memory of actually seeing on my screen. None of them were inappropriate in any way it was just wierd seeing them there and I wondered how they got there. They were pictures of cats or motorcycles and other various everyday things. Well, the cats were naked and they might have been young I just don't know.I do not, however, believe it is possible to accidentally download a bazillion images all relating to one subject like that.

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

JoRight (Anonymous) says ... "I doubt you can just stumble upon kiddie porn; and as the article says, it's not young adults dressing to look young, it's actual kids."Your point is well taken, generally child porn involves subjects who are obviously underage and these are the materials most people think of when they read about child porn in the press. However technically "child porn" involves subjects who are under 18 (even by one day) which can be very hard if not impossible to determine visually. Just because it looks legal doesn't mean it is legal.

rousseau108 6 years, 11 months ago

Still, I doubt you "accidentally" download 13,000 images of child porn.

compmd 6 years, 11 months ago

JoRight, computer forensics is not becoming as well known as you'd like to think. Consider the concept of plausible deniability. The systems that read out data in criminal cases have to be trusted, and trusting computers is a much more difficult thing to do than many realize. Also, stumbling across this stuff is much easier than you think. That's how people who aren't very technically savvy get arrested for possessing it in the first place.

smarty_pants 6 years, 11 months ago

"Replace 'child porn' with 'marijuana' and there would be people screaming about such huge punishment for victimless crime."I've seen some pretty sexy buds in my day, but how can you possibly compare pot users with child pornographers? Sigmund, your post seems like you are taking up for the molesters. It doesn't matter if they are 1 minute less than 18 years old. But I suspect these are pics of little boys and girls. Pretty sick.

Zype 6 years, 10 months ago

Marion, unless you're computer retarded, there's no way you're not going to notice 100,000 images randomly appearing on your computer.Each individual picture may not take up much space, but when you've got 100,000 of them, it kind of adds up.

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