April 23, 2014
Here in the United States, we’re consumed by our love of money and status. We think bigger is better, and if we can just get that promotion, all will be well with our souls. There’s one fatal flaw to this mindset: it’s all smoke and mirrors. Once we reach our goal, we immediately feel compelled to set a higher goal. We’re left in a vacuum of unfulfillment. Maybe getting more isn’t the answer to life. Maybe it’s giving.
There’s something profoundly liberating about giving, yet we don’t do it often enough. It begs the question: why not? For some of us, our demanding schedules overtake our time to volunteer. For others, our fear of economic instability manifests a mindset dominated by pernicious lies like, “You can’t afford to give” and “If you give, you won’t have enough”. However, truth of the matter is we simply cannot afford to not give back!
When we give of ourselves, our time, and our money, we’re also giving up control. As a control freak myself, I know that sounds scary, but I’ve learned that the momentary lack of control forces me to look at what I do have and truly count my blessings. I have clean drinking water. I have food on my table. I have a roof over my head and clothes on my back. Suddenly, my panic-stricken mindset is replaced with gratitude. Gratitude not only encourages our hearts, it produces peace. And we could all use a little more peace these days. The benefits of giving don’t stop there! Giving opens up avenues for abundance.
Let’s take a moment and consider the Dead Sea. Fresh water flows into it, but nothing flows out of it, rendering everything in and around it lifeless. When anxiety drives our decisions, we cannot grow spiritually, emotionally, or mentally. When we open up our hearts and give to others, we give ourselves room to grow and thrive!
I beseech you to open your hearts and give back! Give your time/services/money/support/encouragement/love! Give whatever you can! If ever there was a proverbial truth, it’s the more you give, the more you get. Give and start experiencing a life of fulfillment!
July 9, 2013
The Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force recently added two new members – the City of Hayward Police Department and the Spring Valley Police Department. The additions bring Wisconsin ICAC close to 200 members.
As ICAC members, Hayward and Spring Valley police departments are eligible to receive special training, including that offered by The Innocent Justice Foundation. The 61 ICACs in the United States work to end the sexual abuse of children by investigating individuals who produce, share and view images of children being sexually abused and tortured.
July 1, 2013
A U.S. Federal judge has sentenced an Australian man to 40 years in a U.S. prison for producing and sharing images of a child he adopted being sexually abused by other men.
Reports indicate the man and his Australian partner purchased the boy in an unidentified country for $8,000, than passed the child off as the biological son of one of the men.
In accepting the man’s plea to conspiracy charges involving child exploitation, the judge said she did so because the videos confiscated by investigators were too horrific to show a jury.
Prosecutors said the charges resulted from abuse that took place when the child was five or six years old, although they found video showing the boy being used for a sex act when he was less than two years old.
Federal prosecutors in Indiana, where the court proceedings took place, said the two men had been living with the boy in California. The Associated Press obtained court records indicating the men used falsified papers to legalize the child’s adoption. The child has been rescued and is being cared for in California, according to prosecutors.
Investigators reported finding recordings of the child being sexually abused on computers in San Francisco, Arlington, Va., and Anderson, Ind.
“These men submitted this young child to some of the most heinous acts of exploitation that this office has ever seen,” Indiana US Attorney Joe Hogsett said in a statement following the hearing.
June 25, 2013
A bill that would make New Jersey’s child pornography laws as tough as federal regulations is awaiting Gov. Chris Christie’s signature.
The bill, which unanimously passed both New Jersey’s state Assembly and Senate, sets mandatory five- and 10-year minimum prison terms for individuals found guilty of distributing 25 or more images of children being sexually abused and require that anyone convicted of engaging a child in pornography serve at least 85 percent of their prison term. The bill also includes language that makes it clear that anyone using a peer-to-peer computer file-sharing program for images of child sexual abuse is distribution rather than possession.
The Senator who originally proposed the bill said he believes it could serve as a “national model” for anti-child pornography legislation.
June 24, 2013
A Wichita, Kansas man convicted of producing and distributing images of a child being sexually abused faces a hearing today to determine how much restitution he must pay the nine-year old girl he abused and photographed.
Philip Andra Grigsby has already been sentenced to 260 years in prison for abusing the child and possessing and distributing child pornography. Grigsby was found guilty of sending emails containing photos of the girl being sexually abused to a man in Australia. Investigators were able to identify the child after noticing the name of a middle school on a physical fitness certificate visible in the photos.
June 24, 2013 — The Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, working on a tip from the FBI, have arrested a Kalamazoo man for possessing photos of tied-up teenagers.
Keith Workman, 43, has been charged with child abuse, sexual conduct and concealed weapons violations for possessing a “stun gun device,” police said.
The first case developed by the Mercer County (West Virginia) Sheriff’s Department’s ICAC Task Force has resulted in 133 counts against a Bluewell man for receiving and possessing images of a child engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
Johnny Richard Rowe, 60, was arrested by Mercer County Sheriff D.B. “Don” Meadows, other Mercer Sheriff’s deputies and ICAC investigators from the West Virginia State Police. The West Virginia State Police heads up the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Meadows authorized his department to become a member of the task force in 2012.
June 17, 2013
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation ICAC has charged 42-year old Michael Dean Osburn with using Craigslist to solicit minors for sex.
Officials say Osburn was arrested when he arrived at a location where he believed he was meeting a 15-year old boy.
June 12, 2013
Actress Jen Lilley is a long-time supporter of Innocent Justice.
The Innocent Justice Foundation (TIJF) congratulates actress and long-time TIJF supporter Jen Lilley on her new daytime television role!
This month, Jen joins NBC TV’s “Days of Our Lives.” When she told Innocent Justice that she would be joining the cast, she couldn’t say much about the character she plays other than that she has a connection to someone living in the fictional town of Salem, where all the action takes place.
Lilley’s charity work focuses on organizations that protect children against physical and sexual abuse. She found Innocent Justice when researching charities to support.
“I was overwhelmed to discover the staggering number of images of graphic child sexual abuse available on the Internet,” Lilley said. “When I learned that the United States is the number one producer and consumer of child pornography, my heart broke, and I knew I had to take action. The brutality of the images is beyond disturbing. These are children. They’re babies. They deserve their innocence.”
Lilley said she was convinced she needed to support Innocent Justice when she learned “that 83% of the people who possess child pornography admit to sexually abusing multiple children themselves! This has to stop, and I believe Innocent Justice is the charity to make that happen.”
What sets Innocent Justice apart from other anti-child pornography organizations is that IJ works with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces that proactively investigate and prosecute individuals who produce and share images of child sexual abuse on the Internet. There are 61 ICACs throughout the U.S.; Innocent Justice provides mental health training to prevent burnout among investigators and secures equipment that local law enforcement agencies need to pursue child pornographers.
“I was relieved to see that Innocent Justice is so committed to supporting law enforcement efforts to end child sexual abuse by shutting down these sites and arresting the people involved,” Lilley said.
Lilley said she believes that with all of the advancements in technology, there is no excuse not to wholeheartedly pursue, arrest, and prosecute these criminals.
“The only problem slowing down the efforts is lack of funding. That’s why I donate to Innocent Justice. They gather funds to provide law enforcement with the necessary equipment to track down these criminals and rescue children from the most brutal sexual abuse,” she said.
Lilley donates 100% of the proceeds from her fan club membership to Innocent Justice. More than 96% of revenue the organization receives from donations goes directly to programs and services.
“That’s really important to me in supporting a charity, that they use the money for the cause. It’s why when people join my fan club, I can confidently donate 100% of the proceeds to Innocent Justice.”
Even though her new role will keep her busy, the Roanoke, Virginia native has plans to become even more involved in supporting Innocent Justice.
“Fans should sign up for my fan club and follow me on Twitter to see what Innocent Justice and I are planning for the future. I think they’ll want to be involved,” Lilley said.
June 4, 2013
June 4, 2013 — It took Google just a few hours after the first pornography app for its Google Glass product was announced to officially ban sexually explicit material from its newest product.
Google Glass is a wearable computer that looks like eyewear.
Adult app store MiKandi announced the pornographic app and several hours later, Google removed it and announced its policy against Glassware content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts or sexually explicit material. The search engine announced it would have “harsh penalties” for any app featuring images of children being sexually abused.
In Other News
ICAC agents and Medina, OH police officers arrested an Ohio man yesterday on charges of downloading sexually explicit photos of children on his home computer.
18-year old Dylan Ruesch was charged with a felony; several computers, a hard drive and an iPhone were taken from his home.
June 3, 2013
Jun 3, 2013 — A Jacksonville Beach, FL man under investigation by the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was arrested Friday for child pornography charges after allegedly downloading it on his laptop.
Christopher Frank Trujillo-Vega, 28, is facing two charges of Sexual Performance by a Child-Possession of Child Pornography. A news release from the Jacksonville Beach Police Department states that the investigation is ongoing, as police are still trying to determine if there are more suspects in the case.