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Sex Offender Livestreams: A Disturbing Child Sexual Abuse Trend

A man received a 120-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to raping his daughter multiple times since she was an infant up to when law enforcement arrested him in March 2018, when the victim was six.

According to the Southern District of Iowa U.S. Attorney's Office, evidence showed the predator also "took photographs and videos of the sexual abuse." He would often livestream the abuse, using the social media application Live.me. One of the digital folders of the evidence confiscated by investigators was labeled "child porn and baby rape."

The mother of the child is accused of neglect because she found some of the footage of the abuse and then, instead of contacting law enforcement immediately, she choose to ignore it. She was arrested in February 2019 and will face trial in September. Gina Tron "Dad Raped Daughter For Years Starting At Infancy, Sometimes Livestreaming It, While Mom Allegedly Knew And Ignored It," www.oxygen.com (Jun. 06, 2019).

Commentary and Checklist

In 2015, Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) found that "the live online streaming of real-time child sexual abuse is becoming an 'emerging trend,'" that they expected to grow over the next three years.

In 2018, Internet Watch Foundation (IWF), a nonprofit organization that works internationally "to make the internet safer by removing images of child sexual abuse," conducted research on child sex abuse livestreaming.

The research was conducted over a three-month period, and researchers identified 2,082 images and videos of livestreamed child sexual abuse. It also showed 98 percent of victims were 13 or younger, while 28 percent were 10 or younger.

Child pornography victims are often abused by someone they know.  According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) of the total number of child pornography content that they viewed, 18 percent was produced by a parent or guardian and 25 percent was produced by a neighbor or family friend.

What should you do if you come across child pornography content?

  • Do not engage the sender or possessor of the pornographic image.
  • Report the incident immediately:
    • To local law enforcement
    • To your local child protection agency
    • To the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC)'s website at www.cybertipline.com or call 1-800-843-5678 immediately or
    • To the FBI at www.fbi.gov/report-threats-and-crime.
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