Today’s News: Utah ICAC Investigates Child Abuse Images on Pinterest, WV ICAC Research Results in New System and Child Pornographers Face Tougher Laws in Illinois

May 31, 2013

May 31 — The Utah Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force has opened investigations into a dozen cases of people posting images of child sexual abuse on Pinterest boards. Pinterest is a content sharing Internet service that allows members to “pin” images, videos and other objects to a non-password protected pinboard. Most Pinterest members use the site to share recipes, decorating ideas and hobby-related interests.

Utah ICAC Field Commander Patty Reed told a reporter from the Salt Lake City Deseret News that she was “incredibly surprised” to find that people were using the public site to “share child pornography.” Ken Wallentine, head of Utah ICAC, told reporter Pat Reavy that learning people were posting these images to Pinterest left him dumbfounded that people would be so “incredibly brazen.” He speculated that posters may be using the site to fish for other images of child sexual abuse.

Reed told the newspaper that all 12 incidents were brought to the ICAC’s attention by Pinterest officials who were being proactive in monitoring the site for inappropriate material. Charges in all 12 cases are pending.

West Virginia: Research conducted by the West Virginia ICAC has led the state to become one of just five in the country that will use a computerized system that allows law enforcement officers to share information directly with Child Protective Services.

Felony drug arrests in two West Virginia counties will be entered into the Drug Endangered Children Tracking System (DECSYS), which should help child protective services better identify cases where children are being abused or neglected. According to Colonel C.R. “Jay” Smithers of the ICAC Unit of the West Virginia State Police, children whose parents are substance abusers are three times more likely to be verbally, physically and sexually abused or neglected than other children.

Research conducted by the West Virginia State Police ICAC Unit led to use of the new system in two counties; it is expected to go statewide soon.

Illinois — New legislation passed in Illinois this week toughens laws for people who possess and distribute images of children being sexually abused. The legislation clarifies current Illinois law to allow prosecuting attorneys to charge suspects for each individual item of alleged child pornography in their possession.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, whose office operates the Illinois ICAC, praised legislators for giving law enforcement “the strongest tools at its disposal to put these offenders behind bars for years.” She said the law also is important in that it supports that state’s consecutive sentencing model that requires courts to impose mandatory consecutive, rather than concurrent, sentences for child pornography-related offenses.

OK ICAC Charges Man

May 30, 2013

May 30 — The Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force was involved in the arrest of a Cleveland County, Oklahoma man charged with distributing child pornography.

The Oklahoma Attorney General, a member of the Oklahoma ICAC, has charged 26-year-old David Kennedy with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act. Police say Kennedy distributed multiple child pornography videos to an officer of the Guthrie Police Department.

ICAC, NCMEC ID Children in Photos; Man Charged

May 30 — Eleven children who appeared in sexually explicit materials found on the computer of a Burley, Idaho man have been identified by the National Center for Mission and Exploited Children. NCMEC received the files from the Internet Crimes Against Children task force, which worked with Cassia County sheriff’s detectives and the Idaho Attorney General’s office on the investigation of Jeffrey Durfee.

Investigators seized several computers in February and recovered images of boys and girls as young as five or six years old engaged in sexual activities, according to court records.

Durfee, 25, was charged this week with 11 felony counts of possession of child sexually exploitative materials. He was released on $250,000 bond and ordered to stay away from children and the Internet.

Florida ICAC Investigation Leads to Arrest

May 30 — A Shalimar, FL man appeared in federal court in Pensacola on Tuesday on charges stemming from an investigation led by the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Joshua Douglas Taylor is accused of receiving, transporting and possessing child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The Okaloosa and Walton County sheriff’s offices, the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations also were involved, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release said.

Taylor, 23, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted, the news release said.

U of Tennessee Foundation Official Charged

May 30 — Agents with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force have arrested a top official with the University of Tennessee Foundation, charging the 60-year old man with four child pornography charges.

Federal investigators collected 19 computer disks and a Dell Ultrabook laptop containing illicit material from the home of Bruce Downsbrough, according to an indictment unsealed this week in U.S. District Court.

According to the indictment, Downsbrough first downloaded pornographic images of children in December 2008. He did it again in February 2009 and in April 2012, leading to three counts of downloading child pornography.

A fourth charge for possession of child pornography came after a forensic examination of his computer and the seized disks, which had illegal material on them, according to court records.

Downsbrough is on administrative leave from his job as the chief operating officer and executive vice president of the foundation, which is the University of Tennessee system’s fundraising arm.

U.S. Attorney Bill Killian did not divulge details of the probe that led to Downsbrough’s arrest. However, court records indicate the investigation was headed up by the Internet Crimes alliance, including Knoxville police, and the United States Postal Service.

OK ICAC Charges Man

May 30 — The Oklahoma Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force was involved in the arrest of a Cleveland County, Oklahoma man charged with distributing child pornography.

The Oklahoma Attorney General, a member of the Oklahoma ICAC, has charged 26-year-old David Kennedy with one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act. Police say Kennedy distributed multiple child pornography videos to an officer of the Guthrie Police Department.

Missouri Diocese agrees to pay in priest sex abuse case

May 24, 2013

The family of a child photographed by a priest will receive $600,00 from a Catholic diocese in Missouri as the result of an agreement reached with the diocese earlier this week.

The parents sued the diocese and the priest in federal court in 2011. A lawyer for the girl and her family said the child was about two years old when Reverend Shawn Ratigan took sexually explicit photos on her in 2006.

Ratigan was charged with taking explicit photographs of at least five girls, ages 2 to 12, from 2005 until his arrest in spring 2011. Images of naked children were found on his laptop computer, according to court documents. Ratigan later pleaded guilty in the case and is now in custody awaiting sentencing.

340 years in Prison for AZ Man

45-year-old David Greenberg of Flagstaff, AZ was sentenced yesterday to 340 years in prison for surreptitious videotaping and extensive downloading of what police called “graphic, gut-wrenching, stomach-turning content” of children being sexually abused.

Greenburg, a former science researcher and doctoral student at Northern Arizona University, was arrested trespassing at a home. Investigators suspected from his statements that he was a predator. Police reported they found so much pornography that they decided to not look at most of it because it would take a detective one year of full-time work to review it all.

Before sentencing, Greenburg told the court that he never really threatened anyone because he never touched any of the victims. The prosecutor responded that each time a person views an image or video of a child being abused, that child is victimized again.

Greenburg’s sentence was the normal one prescribed by Arizona state law.

Chula Vista 1st Grade Teacher Arrested for Child Pornography

December 4, 2012

John Kinloch, a 1st grade teacher at Wolf Canyon Elementary School in Chula Vista, Ca, was arrested by  the San Diego Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (SDICAC) for posing as a child online, for possession of child pornography and for luring children online, according to authorities.  Kinloch was placed on administrative leave by school officials.

To read the full story, click here.

CT ICAC Catches Offender Who Filmed Sexual Abuse of 3 Girls Ages 18 Months to 12 Years Old

November 6, 2012

David Csanadi, 36,of Newton, CT, pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.  Csanadi sexually assaulted three female prepubescent children ages 18 months to 12 years old and video taped the abuse.  Csanadi also downloaded child pornography from the Internet, which is how local ICAC investigators discovered him, according to authorities.

Csandai faces a prison term minimum of 15 years to a maximum of 30 years, according to court documents.

Read the full story here.