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Commercial Sexual Exploitation Of Minors: A Growing Risk?

A 54-year-old Illinois man is sentenced to 15 years in prison for distributing and receiving child pornography, according to federal prosecutors.

In 2014, the perpetrator uploaded child pornography to a chat room that was being investigated by the FBI.

In 2017, he admitted to FBI agents that he had uploaded images and videos that contained child porn to chat rooms in the past. He also admitted to browsing child porn on the dark web once a month, including that very morning, prosecutors said.

When the FBI agents seized his computer, they found 67 child porn videos that had been downloaded between July and September 2017.

In January 2019, the man pled guilty to two counts of distribution of child porn and one count of receiving child porn. He has also agreed to pay $3,000 in restitution to one of the victims identified in his porn collection.
Robert Patrick "O'Fallon, Ill., man caught uploading child porn gets 15 years in prison" www.stltoday.com (Mar. 22, 2019).

Commentary and Checklist

According to the FBI, "child pornography is a form of child sexual exploitation. Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than 18 years old). Images of child pornography are also referred to as child sexual abuse images. Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography."

Per the 2017 report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the annual number of individuals prosecuted for commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) cases filed in U.S. district court almost doubled between 2004 and 2013. It increased from 1,405 to 2,776 cases.

Approximately 97 percent of the suspects arrested for CSEC crimes were male; 97 percent were U.S. citizens; 82 percent were white; 79 percent had no prior felony convictions; and 70 percent were not married.

What should you do if you discover child pornography?

  • Preserve any evidence of the employee's involvement in child pornography.
  • Notify the FBI or the police immediately.
  • Rely on law enforcement to conduct the investigation into the crime.
  • Assist authorities with their investigation, if requested.
  • Perform your own investigation if necessary, making sure your investigation does not hinder the criminal investigation.
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