Small ads sex trafficking: the battle against Backpage

July 4, 2017 Comments Off on Small ads sex trafficking: the battle against Backpage

Small ads sex trafficking: the battle against Backpage
Annie Kelly  Sunday 2 July 2017

Backpage started out with small ads for household goods. So how did it grow into a major online market for child sex trafficking? Annie Kelly meets some of the survivors – and reveals how their fight for justice became a battleground for free speech on the internet

The first time Kubiiki Pride used Backpage, America’s largest classified website, was to buy a fridge. The second time she sold some clothes. The third time she was looking for her 13-year-old daughter.

The family had spent nine frantic months looking for MA, posting flyers, launching public appeals and scouring the streets. It took Kubiiki less than five minutes to find her on Backpage. “We were so desperate we were trying everything, but when my husband said check Backpage I was confused because I thought it was a site where you sold stuff you didn’t want any more. It never occurred to me that children were being bought and sold, too.”

My 13-year-old was starved, had her head shaved, was abused and then they sold her on Backpage like she was a used car

Kubiiki found the site and clicked on the adult section. “It took a minute for the page to load, but immediately the third link down from the top just caught my eye,” she says. “It was covered in hearts and these little flower pictures. It looked like something a kid would like, so I clicked on it and there was my baby.

Small ads sex trafficking: the battle against Backpage

Backpage started out with small ads for household goods. So how did it grow into a major online market for child sex trafficking? Annie Kelly meets some of the survivors – and reveals how their fight for justice became a battleground for free speech on the internet….

Over the past decade the enormous revenue streams created by the voracious appetite for online sex ads has thrown anti-trafficking campaigners into a state of acute alarm.

“The scale of child sexual exploitation is not something many people are willing or able to accept,” says Yiota Souras, senior vice-president at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Some campaigners believe that up to 100,000 children like MA are exploited for profit across the country every year.

“What we do know for certain is that, since 2010, the number of reports of suspected sex trafficking has gone off the chart – we registered an 846% increase between 2010-2014 and this number is growing every year,” says Souras. “And we believe a large driver of this has been the increased use of the internet in the buying and selling of children.”

Souras says the unfettered and largely unregulated growth of the internet has been a gift for traffickers. Online classified websites, such as Backpage, have provided a cheap and relatively risk-free platform through which to conduct their business, with traffickers scattering children among the thousands of ads for private massages or escort services.

“All a pimp needs is a classified website to post ads and a cell phone. All the client needs is an internet connection,” says Souras…..

Nobody has a clear idea of how many children have been sold on Backpage but, currently, 73% of child sex trafficking reports NCMEC receives from the public relate to Backpage ads. NCMEC’s early collaborative relationship with Backpage soured when, Souras said, it became clear the site was using NCMEC as good PR but failing to implement adequate checks and balances that the centre believed needed to be put in place to protect vulnerable children…..

“They just kept on winning,” says Brad Myles, director of anti-trafficking group Polaris. Judge after judge accepted that Backpage was not accountable under US law for the child trafficking occurring on its website. Backpage was, according to the courts, no different from any other web publisher provided immunity for content posted by third parties under the 1996 Communications and Decency Act, where section 230 had been included to ensure that the burgeoning tech industry was not crushed by litigation. It has also emerged that not-for-profit special interest groups funded by companies including Google have supported Backpage’s legal battles and provided expert briefs in support of the site.

“The most disheartening indication of our judiciary’s legal priorities,” says Myles, “was the fact that judges would do nothing to hold a website that was profiting from the sale of children accountable to preserve the legal immunity of the billion-dollar tech industry.”

Kubiiki and MA were devastated by the judge’s decision not to let their case against Backpage go to trial. “These are children who are being raped, yet the whole debate around Backpage has become about the rights of internet companies to not get sued?” says Kubiiki…..

Mazzio’s documentary forensically timelines the legal assault waged against Backpage, first by Kubiiki and MA and then by other families along with state prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Her film also charts the astonishment and dismay as one by one their lawsuits bit the dust….

Regardless of which side you come down on, it looks as if the net could be closing around Backpage. When Carl Ferrer failed to answer a subpoena to appear before a Senate subcommittee in 2016 investigating child trafficking, the Senate’s response was to launch a full-blown investigation into the company. One of the closing scenes in Mazzio’s documentary is the moment when Larkin, Lacey and Ferrer are forced to appear before the subcommittee in January this year.

Earlier that day Backpage had finally closed its adult services listings. “Today, the censors prevailed,” wrote Lacey and Larkin in a statement. “The shutdown of Backpage’s adult classified advertising is an assault on the First Amendment. We maintain hope for a more robust and unbowed internet in the future.”

“They weren’t willing to invest in what we believed were comprehensive measures to protect children,” she says. “They were far more focused on hiring a legal team to ensure that their revenue streams could continue.”….

“For me, the biggest tragedy is that for seven years there has been all this debate about free speech and First Amendment rights. And the basic fact that these are children who are being raped and sold on a public website somehow got pushed to the background. What happened to the rights of my child?” asks Nacole, fury in her voice. “What if this was your daughter? How would you feel if this happened to you?”…. 

Neil Brick will be speaking at S.M.A.R.T. Child and Ritual Abuse Conference – August 11 – 13, 2017
Neil Brick has developed Internet resources to publish scientific information about child and ritual abuse. He publishes a bimonthly newsletter and organizes informational conferences. The goal of these resources is to help stop child and ritual abuse through public education.

The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control 2017 Conference
Video Presentations from The Survivorship Ritual Abuse and Mind Control 2017 Conference

How to Avoid Being Mind Controlled at a Conference and Freedom from Mind Control – 2017 Presentation by Neil Brick

Strong accuracy and validity of ritual abuse research:

Fran and Dan Keller legal case information

N.J. Catholics outraged over accused priest’s access to children, Catholics paid $36m to 600 abuse victims in Victoria, An ongoing battle against the porn connection

May 2, 2013 Comments Off on N.J. Catholics outraged over accused priest’s access to children, Catholics paid $36m to 600 abuse victims in Victoria, An ongoing battle against the porn connection

N.J. Catholics outraged over accused priest’s access to children
By Mark Mueller Religion News Service, April 30, 2013

NEWARK, N.J. — Amid calls for a Vatican investigation, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is facing fierce criticism for his handling of a priest who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors in defiance of a court-ordered lifetime ban on ministry to children.

At St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Colts Neck, where the Rev. Michael Fugee had been spending time with a youth group, angry parishioners said they were never told about Fugee’s background, and they questioned Myers’ defense of the priest, the subject of a lengthy story in The Star-Ledger….

Fugee, 52, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark and under Myers’ supervision. His work at St. Mary’s, however, was in the neighboring Diocese of Trenton, where Bishop David O’Connell has ordered the pastor of St. Mary to bar Fugee from any church activities, a spokeswoman said in a statement….

Fugee was convicted in 2003 of criminal sexual contact for allegedly fondling a 14-year-old boy’s genitals on two occasions. Three years later, an appellate court vacated the verdict, ruling the trial judge should not have allowed jurors to hear the part of Fugee’s confession in which he described himself as homosexual or bisexual. The rest of the confession was not called into question.

Rather than retry Fugee, prosecutors allowed him to enter a rehabilitation program for first-time offenders, on the condition that he undergo counseling for sex offenders and sign an agreement barring him from any work in which children are involved. The archdiocese’s vicar general, on behalf of Myers, signed the agreement as well.

Yet The Star-Ledger found Fugee has apparently violated that pledge with impunity, attending retreats and hearing confessions and traveling with members of the St. Mary youth group to Canada….

Catholics paid $36m to 600 abuse victims in Victoria
By Greg Ansley Thursday May 2, 2013

Australia’s bid to prise open the secret world of endemic child sexual abuse in churches and other powerful institutions has stepped up a notch with revelations of the scale of perversion.

The Victorian inquiry resumed this week to admissions, contrition and apologies from the Catholic Church, which said it had paid A$30 million ($36 million) in compensation to about 600 victims of deviant priests in the state.

Next week the New South Wales special commission of inquiry will open its hearings in Newcastle, north of Sydney, in the diocese that triggered both the state inquiry and the federal royal commission into abuse of children in the care of religious, government and other institutions.

A key focus of the NSW hearings will be the late, defrocked priest Denis McAlinden, whose long-term abuse of dozens of children was known to the church but hidden as he was shuffled between Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand, where he worked at Tokomaru Bay near Gisborne.

McAlinden – whose predecessor was later convicted of child sexual abuse – was central to investigations by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox, the whistleblower policeman who sabotaged his career by making public alleged cover-ups by the Church….

In Ballarat, Church officials knew by 1975 that priest Gerald Ridsdale was a paedophile, but allowed him to continue working. Ridsdale was later twice convicted for child sexual abuse, and moved to different parishes.

The Catholic Order of Salesians of Don Bosco, which works with homeless and at-risk youths, and runs schools and boys’ clubs, said it had paid more than A$2 million in compensation to abuse victims and had 49 complaints against its priests in Victoria, three of whom will face courts this year. The Brothers of St John of God said it had received 31 cases of abuse by 15 members.

An ongoing battle against the porn connection
Bharat Dogra  The Statesman Asia News Network New Delhi May 2, 2013

Recent years have seen massive worldwide changes in cultural and social norms that are closely related to the spread of pornography and new forms of prostitution. These need to be studied and understood carefully, particularly in the context of their impact on violence and crime against women and children.

Researchers Rebecca Whisnant and Christine Stark describe the many-sided spread of this global industry: “Prostitution is a multi-billion dollar global industry that includes adult and child pornography, bartering sex for food and shelter, massage parlours, prostitution rings, stripping, saunas, live sex shows, street prostitution, escort services or outcall, ritual abuse, peep shows, phone sex, international and domestic trafficking, mail-order bride services and prostitution tourism. The prostitution industry is an enormously powerful and pervasive culture presence.”….

According to Forbes magazine, the contemporary legal pornography business is a $56-billion global industry, including a huge presence of some big multinational companies….

In a research paper titled “The Use of New Communication Technologies for Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children”, Donna Hughes…. This study quotes experiences of police officers who blame the Internet particularly for the spread of child porn. Raymond Smith of the US Postal Inspection Service, who has handled hundreds of cases of child pornography, found that the rise in Internet use by sexual predators has also increased their use of the US mail service. He said that from the time they first started investigating child pornography in the early 1980s until five years ago, they had almost eliminated the distribution of child pornography.

But since the Internet this has steadily increased. In 1998, 32 per cent of cases of distribution of child porn were related to the Internet. In 1999, 47 per cent were Internet-related, and in 2000 this had risen to 77 per cent. This paper concludes, “The use of new communication and information technologies for the sexual exploitation of women and children is creating a crisis for women’s and children’s status, and dignity all over the world.”

Operation which traced 250,000 paedophiles worldwide last year

August 1, 2012 Comments Off on Operation which traced 250,000 paedophiles worldwide last year

50 police officers arrested in child porn raids

Wednesday, Aug 01 2012

Fifty police officers across the UK have been arrested as part of a crackdown on suspected paedophiles who pay to access child pornography websites, detectives revealed today.

The officers were among 1,300 people arrested on suspicion of accessing or downloading indecent images of children – some as young as five – from US-based Internet sites.

Thirty-five men were arrested in London this morning as part of the investigation – codenamed Operation Ore – following raids on 45 addresses across the capital….

Mr Gamble said the 50 officers were among 1,200 Britons who had been identified as “category one or two” suspects – those who posed the greatest potential risk to children.

In addition, 40 children nationwide – 28 of them in London – had been identified as being at risk of being abused and appropriate steps had been taken with other agencies to ensure that all the youngsters were safe.

Before today’s arrests, the Metropolitan Police had executed 75 warrants across the capital with 65 arrests and more than 130 computers seized. Although 7,000 suspected users of “pay-per-view” child pornography sites based in the US were identified in Britain, Mr Gamble said the actual number of offenders would probably be lower, partly due to duplicates….

“Behind these indecent, abusive images are real children who will have suffered immense damage and trauma.”

Operation Ore is the UK wing of a huge FBI operation which traced 250,000 paedophiles worldwide last year through credit card details used to pay for downloading child porn.

The names of British suspects were passed on by US investigators.

Suspects were traced through the Landslide web site – a gateway to an international collection of child pornography sites.

Thomas Reedy, who ran the web site and earned millions from it, is now serving several life sentences in the US.

Dale Griffis – West Memphis Three Case Information and Documents, Photo e-mailed from Mass. man led to vast global child pornography network

July 30, 2012 Comments Off on Dale Griffis – West Memphis Three Case Information and Documents, Photo e-mailed from Mass. man led to vast global child pornography network

Photo e-mailed from Mass. man led to vast global child pornography network
By Jenifer B. McKim  Globe Staff     July 29, 2012

As soon as they saw the terrified boy’s photo three years ago, federal agents Peter Manning and Gregory Squire had the same thought: we have to save him. The blue-eyed child, about 18 months old, was naked from the waist down and clutching a stuffed rabbit for comfort. There was no doubt he had been sexually abused. But that doesn’t begin to describe his suffering…..

Assigned to the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations office in Boston, their job is to track down child pornographers and victims. Over the years, they’ve become painfully familiar with some of the hundreds of thousands of child pornography pictures and videos online. Many depict almost unimaginably grotesque attacks on infants and toddlers and are traded like baseball cards by men using obscure Internet outposts to revel in their depravity.

But that single image of the distraught boy with the toy bunny became a crucial piece of evidence for Manning and Squire. It had been e-mailed to them by a Milford man who thought he was sharing it with fellow child-pornography voyeurs. His miscalculation sparked an investigation that would spread around the world, thus far leading to 42 arrests and the discovery of 140 children who were violated. The youngest was 19 days old.

Robert Diduca, who sent the first photo — which he labeled “cookie” in a reference to the boy — eventually pleaded guilty to the production, distribution, and possession of child pornography. In June, the 48-year-old father of three was sentenced in US District Court in Worcester to 18 years in prison….

After Diduca’s arrest in November 2010, Manning and Squire mined the trove of 27,000 images he’d stored on laptops, flash drives, and cellphones in his four-bedroom Colonial home and in the Sheraton hotel office in Framingham where he worked. The evidence linked him to other offenders and victims in several European countries, Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Within a few weeks, the agents had helped to uncover a massive child abuse case in the Netherlands….

Hiding behind a normal life
Robert Diduca didn’t have a criminal record. He appeared to be a decent father and faithful husband to his wife of some 25 years, and he held a job as a hotel manager. But beneath the veneer of normalcy, court records show, he sought, catalogued, and exchanged photos of sexually exploited children, fantasizing about rape and egging on predators to do more harm.

Diduca declined repeated requests for an interview….Diduca faced up to 60 years in prison but received a lesser sentence after he cooperated with prosecutors and pleaded guilty….

Like Diduca, many child-pornography viewers collect tens of thousands of images, some of which they share through e-mail chats or members-only online bulletin boards. Websites often feature sections catering to fetishes, including “super hardcore” and “homemade posts only.”….

A 2008 study by Michael Bourke, who is now chief psychologist for the US Marshals Service, found 85 percent of men arrested for possession of child pornography had also sexually exploited a child.

….Within hours, police descended on the Amsterdam home of 27-year-old Robert Mikelsons, a Latvian-born daycare provider. Mikelsons had baby-sat the boy several times — in his house and at a respected child care center favored by professional families.

By the time police arrived, Mikelsons — aware of the broadcast — had already deleted many images from his computer, prosecutors said. But there were far too many to wipe clean. He was arrested on the spot and confessed to molesting the boy. During the days of interrogation that followed, Mikelsons detailed attacks on 87 children, most under 2½ years old. He preferred to prey on those too young to talk….

Even though he confessed, Mikelsons still had to be convicted in court and sentenced by a three-judge panel. The formal charges were staggering. He stood accused of attacking 67 children — 52 boys and 15 girls — between 2007 and 2010. Many were ravaged multiple times.


Dale Griffis – West Memphis Three Case Information

This information is being posted with the permission of its author, Dale Griffis:

This document is to provide accurate information about my professional background and educational credentials as these have been inaccurately referenced on the Internet and in at least one documentary film in relation to the Memphis Three Case.

From 1960 to 1986, I worked in the Tiffin Ohio Police Department, I began as a Patrolman and over the course of my 26-year career, became Captain in Charge of Operations and a State Certified School Commander.

During these years, I attended over forty service school and seminars. This included three courses on intelligence work, including a three-week course as a unit commander of an intelligence unit. I was chosen to attend the Federal Alcohol, tobacco and Firearms Academy in Washington D.C. and graduated with honors. I graduated from Terra Community College with an Associates Degree in Police Science. I graduated Cum Laude from Heidelberg College in 1976 with a Bachelors degree in psychology.

I began my graduate education at Columbia Pacific University (CPU) in 1980 and graduated in January of 1984 with a Ph.D. At the Masters level, I concentrated on an independent study project (ISP) on intelligence graphics and advanced investigation charting for small agencies. My Masters ISP took a year to finish and I graduated upon completion of my approximately 90-page thesis. CPU then granted me entry into their doctoral program.

Copies of Documents in regard to Columbia Pacific University

….Approximately a year prior to the murders of three children by convicted Damien Echols, Jessie Misskelley Jr. and Jason Baldwin, I was given data about a suspicious and criminal activity by some local youths in the West Memphis area. I provided to a West Memphis detective investigating these activities some indicators of possible problems and suggestions for thwarting the criminal activity. The detective’s concerns and my suggestions were not implemented by local authorities. The murders took place and I read about it in the media

….I have worked now with close to 2000 cases of cult and occult activity and am now retired, I still carry concern for the three eight-year-old boys who were savagely beaten and killed. I had told investigators and detectives more than a year before the arrest of the Memphis Three that children and animals would be sacrificed based on indicators sent to me of activity in the West Memphis area. I was sadly correct in my opinion. It is true still that when a person sees or hears something so bizarre as a ritually abusive sacrificial cult or occult group that it is easier to go after the messenger than to listen to the message.

Abuses At Legion Of Christ-Run High School, Immaculate Conception Academy In Rhode Island, Officials See Child Welfare Dangers on a North Dakota Indian Reservation, Parents allege school ignored concerns in sex abuse case

July 11, 2012 Comments Off on Abuses At Legion Of Christ-Run High School, Immaculate Conception Academy In Rhode Island, Officials See Child Welfare Dangers on a North Dakota Indian Reservation, Parents allege school ignored concerns in sex abuse case

– Abuses At Legion Of Christ-Run High School, Immaculate Conception Academy In Rhode Island
– Officials See Child Welfare Dangers on a North Dakota Indian Reservation
– Parents allege school ignored concerns in sex abuse case
– Feds say they have found more sex victims of Indiana man
– Guilty plea: Child rapist was accused of giving girls ‘special juice’ before assaults

Abuses At Legion Of Christ-Run High School, Immaculate Conception Academy In Rhode Island  By NICOLE WINFIELD 07/09/12  VATICAN CITY —

Dozens of women who attended a high school run by the disgraced Legion of Christ religious order have urged the Vatican to close the program, saying the psychological abuse they endured trying to live like teenage nuns led to multiple cases of anorexia, stress-induced migraines, depression and even suicidal thoughts.

The women sent a letter this weekend to the pope’s envoy running the Legion to denounce the manipulation, deception and disrespect they say they suffered at the hands of counselors barely older than themselves at the Rhode Island school. For some, the trauma required years of psychological therapy that cost them tens of thousands of dollars.

A copy of the letter was provided to The Associated Press by the letter’s 77 signatories, a dozen of whom agreed to be interviewed about their personal problems for the sake of warning parents against sending their children to the program’s schools in the U.S., Mexico and Spain.

“I have many defining and traumatic memories that I believe epitomize the systematic breakdown of the person” in the school, Mary told The Associated Press in an email exchange….

It’s the latest blow to the troubled, cult-like Legion, which was discredited in 2009 when it revealed that its founder was a pedophile and drug addict who fathered three children. The Legion suffered subsequent credibility problems following its recent admission that its most famous priest had fathered a child and the current Legion superior covered it up for years.

The Legion saga is all the more grave because its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, had been held up as a living saint by his followers and a model of holiness by Pope John Paul II because of his ability to recruit men and money to the priesthood, even though the Vatican knew for decades that he had sexually abused his seminarians….

The school’s current director said things have changed dramatically recently and many of the spiritual and psychological abuses corrected. But she acknowledged the harm done, apologized for the women’s suffering and asked for forgiveness.

“For any errors made by our order in the past, we do apologize,” said director Margarita Martinez. “We are sorry these young women have suffered and been harmed in any way.”

Officials See Child Welfare Dangers on a North Dakota Indian Reservation

Federal and state officials say they have documented glaring flaws in the child welfare system at the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in North Dakota, contending that while child abuse there is at epidemic levels, the tribe has sought to conceal it. The problems uncovered by medical and social services administrators include foster children on the reservation who have been sent to homes where registered sex offenders live and a teenage female sexual-abuse victim who was placed in a tribal home and subsequently raped.

The tribe, according to federal officials, also hired a children’s case worker who had been convicted of felony child abuse….

The conditions led the State of North Dakota to take the unusual step this year of suspending financing for 31 tribal children in foster care….

Parents allege school ignored concerns in sex abuse case
by JONATHAN BETZ  WFAA July 9, 2012

MURPHY – The parents of several child abuse victims have filed a lawsuit against a school principal and the Plano school district accusing them of ignoring warnings about a sexual predator.

Parents of three elementary students say administrators at Hunt Elementary in Murphy repeatedly dismissed concerns about kindergarten teacher Joseph Garbarini. Garbarini, 30, is currently serving a 62-year prison sentence after he was convicted of child sexual abuse last year.

The explosive accusations involving diapers, bottles and cages horrified parents when the news broke in May 2010. In the months before his arrest however, the lawsuit said parents and teachers had unsettling suspicions about Garbarini. He was often seen tickling, hugging, photographing and encouraging young girls to sit on his lap. Yet the school’s principal, Linda Engelking, dismissed the concerns, according to the lawsuit.  “She simply did not care,” lawyers wrote in the suit filed Friday in federal court in Sherman, adding that she chose “to protect the teacher and place her loyalty to him above her concerns for the minor children.”

The lawsuit claims Garbarini’s actions so bothered parents that several asked their students to be moved to a different teacher. Lawyers allege the mother of one of the victims tried at the beginning of the school year to have her daughter assigned to a different class, but that Engelking discouraged the transfer.  A man who answered the door at Engelking’s Plano home refused to comment. The district said she retired this year after 33 years in Plano ISD….

Garbarini’s trial revealed the teacher played ‘mommy-baby’ games with his students, which involved him molesting young girls while putting them in diapers. The lawsuit alleges he brought bags of diapers and children’s clothes to school and made excuses to undress the young children behind a bookshelf in his classroom. He would threaten to harm the student’s family if they cried, according to court documents.–161871365.html

Feds say they have found more sex victims of Indiana man
Associated Press July 10, 2012
An Indiana man was formally charged Tuesday with tricking 10 teenagers in nine different states into performing sex acts on webcam that he recorded and used to coerce them into making more sexually explicit videos.

Federal prosecutors said Richard Finkbiner, 39, told some of his online victims that he intended to amass the largest collection of amateur pornography in the world. U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett called it a “systematic scheme to victimize hundreds of children.”

Documents filed in U.S. District Court in Terre Haute charge Finkbiner with 10 counts of child sexual exploitation, two counts of extortion and one count of possession of child pornography. Hogsett said prosecutors plan to seek an effective life sentence if Finkbiner is convicted.

The victims were nine boys and one girl, all between the ages of 12 and 16, according to the charges. Court documents said Finkbiner coerced children from Indiana, West Virginia, Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, New York, Michigan, Illinois and Colorado into making explicit videos for his use….

After recording the initial sexual acts, prosecutors said Finkbiner threatened to upload the images to pornographic websites unless his victims agreed to email him at one of several emails that he used as aliases. When the teens responded, he threatened to expose the chat videos to their family and friends unless they made more explicit videos for his use, according to court documents.,0,6562640.story

Guilty plea: Child rapist was accused of giving girls ‘special juice’ before assaults
By Kelly Bayliss and Dan Stamm, 7/10/12

A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty Tuesday to various child sex abuse charges, putting a surprising end to his trial on charges that he drugged and raped three young girls and posted images of the acts on the Internet. Barry McOwen, 67, was charged with 651 total counts including multiple rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual abuse of children, endangering the welfare of children, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, invasion of privacy and drug violation charges. He wound up taking the stand in court Tuesday — the second day of the trial — to plead guilty to some of those charges, including one count of child rape, three counts of indecent assault, four counts of creating child pornography and one count of dissemination of child porn, McOwen’s lawyer George Yacoubian Jr. said. According to investigators, McOwen took pictures and videos of the incidents and shared them with others over the Internet.

He often used Internet chats to share his horrific acts….

McOwen also referred to his “sleep assaults” in many online conversations.

Investigators say the assaults took place over the course of five years — between January 2006 and June 2011.

Child porn task force boosts arrests in R.I.

October 2, 2011 Comments Off on Child porn task force boosts arrests in R.I.

Child porn task force boosts arrests in R.I.

March 21, 2011 By Katie Mulvaney

A presentation about child pornography identified Rhode Island as the state with the highest rate of trading per capita in the country. A map of the United States showed the Ocean State blotted out with dots indicating the high volume of illicit traffic….

Authorities link Rhode Island’s high rate of child-pornography trafficking to the state’s dense population and widespread access to high-speed Internet early on. At any given lunch hour more than 100 people can be found trading child pornography over the Internet in the state, state police say. After 5 p.m., as people get home from work, that number doubles….

Often, offenders work to build collections that can be traded, authorities say. A dozen images of a 5-year-old girl might be traded for one of an infant rape, for example. It is against the law in Rhode Island to produce, possess or trade sexually explicit images of children under age 18.

And as child pornography swelled into a billion-dollar business, one of the fastest growing segments of the criminal world, its victims dropped in age, authorities say. Its scenes have grown increasingly brutal. These are not images of Lolita-esque teenagers, but rather stomach-turning depictions of toddlers….

72 charged in online child pornography ring, Violence Against Women and effects

August 4, 2011 Comments Off on 72 charged in online child pornography ring, Violence Against Women and effects

“the bulletin board distributed the equivalent of 16,000 DVDs of child pornography, adding that the department had recovered more than 1 million images in the U.S. alone.”

“In the United States, more than 20 percent of women have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. A full 17 percent have reported rape or attempted rape, according to background information in the study.”

72 charged in online child pornography ring

Fifty-two have been arrested in the U.S. and abroad and 13 have pleaded guilty in the case, the result of a crackdown by the Justice and Homeland Security departments. Twenty remain at large.
By Andrew Seidman, Washington Bureau
August 3, 2011

Reporting from Washington—
The Justice Department has charged 72 suspected members of an online child pornography ring that encouraged its members to engage in sexual acts with children 12 and under and submit gruesome, violent material to build a massive private database of images and videos on the Internet.

The crackdown is the result of a joint effort by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security launched in December 2009 to target about 500 people in 13 countries on five continents for their suspected participation in “Dreamboard,” a members-only online bulletin board that was created to encourage the sharing of graphic images and videos.

“The members of this criminal network shared a demented dream to create the preeminent online community for the promotion of child sexual exploitation,” Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement, “but for the children they victimized, this was nothing short of a nightmare.”

According to court documents filed in Louisiana, where the ring originated, administrators for Dreamboard set up strict barriers to entry and created a sophisticated membership system that offered incentives for further contributions to the website. Individuals had to post child pornography in order to join the site. To maintain membership, individuals were required to continue to upload images of sexual abuse….

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said that the bulletin board distributed the equivalent of 16,000 DVDs of child pornography, adding that the department had recovered more than 1 million images in the U.S. alone.,0,5337258.story

Violence Against Women Can Take Lifelong Toll: Study
Research shows how rates of mental and physical illness rise, quality of life falls

By Serena Gordon HealthDay Reporter
TUESDAY, Aug. 2 (HealthDay News)

Women who’ve suffered from gender-based violence are more likely to develop anxiety disorders or other mental woes, experience physical and mental disabilities, and have worse quality of life than other women, new research shows.

Gender-based violence includes rape and other forms of sexual assault, intimate-partner violence (such as spouse abuse) and stalking.

Risks for these long-term problems rose with the intensity of abuse. For example, women who’d experienced three or four types of gender-based violence had 10 times the odds of developing an anxiety disorder than women who haven’t experienced such violence, the study found. The odds of a woman who’d been subjected to such violence developing a substance abuse problem were almost six times higher than for a woman who hasn’t experienced gender-based violence….

Results of the study are published in the Aug. 3 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association….

In the United States, more than 20 percent of women have experienced intimate-partner violence, stalking or both. A full 17 percent have reported rape or attempted rape, according to background information in the study.

The data for Rees’ study came from a national survey done in Australia on mental health and well-being. The survey included over 4,400 women between the ages of 16 and 85 years old.

In that group, 1,218 women (27 percent) reported experiencing at least one form of gender-based violence, while 139 had been exposed to three or more forms of gender-based violence.

The average age that women were first raped was 13 years old and 12 years old for sexual assault. The average age that women were beaten by a partner or stalked was 22 years old.

The more violence a woman was exposed to, the greater her risk of developing mental illnesses, according to the study.


Huge child porn ring – 30,000 customers, China’s crackdown on human trafficking

September 23, 2010 Comments Off on Huge child porn ring – 30,000 customers, China’s crackdown on human trafficking

HUGE child porn ring with Arizona link
China’s crackdown on human trafficking frees 16,517 abducted women, children

HUGE child porn ring with Arizona link – Katie Raml, Nicole Longhini  Sep 22, 2010
An international child porn ring with ties to Arizona has been shut down.
For the first time, law enforcement officials are sharing the latest, inside details in a case involving 30,000 customers, 132 countries and more than 230 websites.
Law enforcement officials from around the globe are calling it the most important child pornography bust in the history of the Internet.
Matthew Allen is Special Agent in Charge for Homeland Security Investigation and Immigration Customs Enforcement in Arizona.
He oversees any leads identified in Arizona by the international child pornography bust, otherwise known as Project Flicker.

“If the average American were to see it they would be completely outraged at the kind of victimization that goes on,” Allen said. “[It] resulted in more than 5,000 leads in the United States involving individuals who have subscribed or downloaded child pornography from websites.”….
Among those identified as customers were 10,000 Americans. Individuals who subscribed were given access to images and videos of sexually exploited boys and girls, some possibly as young as three-years old. “[Their ages] spanned from infancy all the way to adulthood,” Allen said.

China’s crackdown on human trafficking frees 16,517 abducted women, children  –   2010-09-20
BEIJING, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) – Chinese police freed 10,621 women and 5,896 children who had been abducted for human trafficking as of September 6,since the Ministry of Public Security launched a crackdown on trafficking the crime in April last year.
In the campaign, police nationwide apprehended 2,398 human trafficking gangs and handled 13,500 such cases, said the ministry in a statement on Sunday.
Further, the police put 15,673 suspects under criminal detention and handed out administrative penalties on 1,518 people, it said.

Facebook fails to alert police on child porn

August 28, 2010 Comments Off on Facebook fails to alert police on child porn

Mothers’ group outraged after their Facebook campaign to expose paedophiles is removed from the internet

Facebook fails to alert police on child porn Dylan Welch  August 27, 2010 THE management of Facebook repeatedly failed to reveal the activity of an international child pornography syndicate operating on the social networking site and ignored continuing admissions by one of the ring’s Australian members. The failure was uncovered during an Australian Federal Police-led international investigation of the syndicate, which had operated via fake identities on the site.

”We are aware that Facebook knew of the existence of these pages and even went so far as to remove the profiles,” said the director of the AFP High Tech Crime Centre, Neil Gaughan. But despite closing down the men’s pages after finding illegal material, Facebook did not contact police, Mr Gaughan said. ”Facebook deactivated the online accounts of the initial suspects but there were indications that, within hours, the groups were re-forming again under new accounts,” he said. The taskforce, codenamed Project Ocean, was created by the AFP in March but quickly expanded to overseas agencies. By June it included the FBI, the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre in Britain, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and police in Germany, South Africa and Switzerland.

Officers believe there may have been dozens of people involved in the ring….All 11 are accused of creating Facebook pages under false identities and using the pages to distribute and view graphic sexual images of children.
After federal police arrested one of the Australian men, he stunned them by describing how he had sent up to 10 messages to Facebook, but the company failed to pass on the information to police…..

Facebook has been criticised in the past for failing to address privacy and safety concerns held by its hundreds of millions of users….The latest scandal comes three months after the Facebook-associated murder of Sydney teenager Nona Belomesoff. Ms Belomesoff was allegedly murdered by a 20-year-old man who had befriended her on the site.

Charges against B.C. teacher linked to global child-porn network By Allison Cross, Postmedia News August 27, 2010  One of the men arrested in Canada in relation to an international online child-exploitation network that used Facebook is a former Vancouver private school teacher, police say. Christopher Charles Ingvaldson was arrested in June and has been charged with four counts related to child exploitation, said Sgt. Tony Cavezza of the Vancouver Police Department….

The Australian Federal Police announced Thursday a total of 11 people have been arrested as part of a co-ordinated operation across Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada….”(This kind of) activity is quite prolific. It also ties in with other websites, like Craigslist,” Cavezza said. “The number of people engaged in this activity is quite substantial. Sometimes we have trouble keeping up because there’s so much of it.”….

The RCMP partnered with the Australian Federal Police and the FBI in March to begin the investigation, Australian Federal Police said in a news release. A member of the Australian police created an online identity on Facebook and was approached by a member of the network. Upon further investigation, the officer realized the network spanned several continents. “One of our most effective strategies against Internet-facilitated child sexual abuse is co-operation,” said RCMP Supt. John Bilinski, who heads the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Mothers’ group outraged after their Facebook campaign to expose paedophiles is removed from the internet By Daily Mail Reporter 26th August 2010

Facebook campaign to expose paedophiles removed, Craigslist, clergy abuse

August 27, 2010 Comments Off on Facebook campaign to expose paedophiles removed, Craigslist, clergy abuse

Mothers’ group outraged after their Facebook campaign to expose paedophiles is removed from the internet
Attorneys general call for Craigslist to get rid of adult services ads
900 abuse cases in Dutch clergy

Mothers’ group outraged after their Facebook campaign to expose paedophiles is removed from the internet

By Daily Mail Reporter 26th August 2010 Six mothers who set up a campaign group on Facebook to track down and expose online paedophiles have been given a warning and had their page removed from the internet. Leanne Moss, 33, set up the Mommies on a Mission group after claiming she stumbled across Facebook profile pages featuring images of child abuse. The mother-of-four said she created the campaign page to raise awareness and to ensure the offensive profiles were reported. ‘All we were doing was posting links of profiles which featured sick images.’
Group member Joanne Bell, 32, from Carlisle, claimed it didn’t make sense that Mommies on a Mission was removed when what they considered to be ‘sick’ profiles featuring child abuse were still on the site. ‘If they are monitoring us so closely, why can’t they monitor these people?’

The group aimed to prevent a repeat of the murder of Ashleigh Hall, 17, who was groomed online by killer Peter Chapman before she was lured to her death.
Chapman, a convicted sex offender, was jailed for a minimum of 35 years in  March.  Ashleigh’s mother Andrea said Facebook’s decision to shut down Mommies on a Mission was ‘shocking’.
‘They are very quick to shut down people who are trying to do some good for a change.

Attorneys general call for Craigslist to get rid of adult services ads By the CNN Wire Staff August 26, 2010 (CNN) — Attorneys general in 17 states have banded together to call on Craigslist, the online classified ad website, to discontinue its adult services section. “The increasingly sharp public criticism of Craigslist’s Adult Services section reflects a growing recognition that ads for prostitution — including ads trafficking children — are rampant on it,” the attorneys general said in a Tuesday letter to Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster and founder Craig Newmark. The letter continued: “We recognize that Craigslist may lose the considerable revenue generated by the Adult Services ads. No amount of money, however, can justify the scourge of illegal prostitution, and the suffering of the women and children who will continue to be victimized, in the market and trafficking provided by Craigslist.”

A Craigslist spokeswoman said Wednesday that the site agreed with at least some of the letter.
“We strongly support the attorneys general desire to end trafficking in children and women, through the Internet or by any other means,” Susan MacTavish Best, who handles media inquiries for Craigslist, told CNN Wednesday.

900 abuse cases in Dutch clergy 2010-08-25  The Hague – A Dutch commission set up five months ago to look into suspected sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy in the Netherlands said on Wednesday it has received about 900 reports from alleged victims.  “The 900 reports come mainly from victims but also from relatives of the victims who contacted us,” Gert Jan Verhoog, a spokesperson for the commission told AFP….Some members of the clergy accused of abuse gave themselves up to the commission, Verhoog said….At the same time, a Catholic Church committee called Hulp & Recht (Support and Right), tasked with collecting reports from alleged victims, has so far received about 1 600 statements, spokesperson Ben Spekman told AFP.

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