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Child porn increasing, and so will the battle against it, feds vow

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

Online kiddie porn has spread so quickly that it’s outrun authorities responsible for stopping it. So U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced a series of bold steps aimed at catching up.

The battle plan is the first-ever to assess and fight the damage facing children from children from child pornography, online enticement, child sex tourism, commercial sexual exploitation, and sexual exploitation in Indian Country.

It establishes specific goals and priorities, and demands cooperation and collaboration among all agencies of government, from local police on up to the Department of Justice, as well as contributions from the private sector.

Specifically, the U.S. Marshals Service will target the 500 most dangerous, non-compliant sex offenders in the nation and hunt them down.

The service will create a national database with information and analysis not only on current offenders’ activities but on future threats and trends. Law enforcement agencies will be able to tap into the system to compare information and even conduct joint undercover operations aimed at picking off pedophiles online.

Holder also created 38 additional federal prosecutor positions devoted specifically to child exploitation cases.

The number of pornographic images of children shared online has increase dramatically, as has the amount of violence against child victims, Holder said Monday.

“Tragically, the only place we’ve seen a decrease is in the age of victims,” the Attorney General said in a speech at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Va.

“This is a problem that has come out of the shadows, but much more needs to be done,” said Ernie Allen, President of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

The increased attention to fighting child pornography already has led to record numbers of prosecutions and tips, federal authorities said: More than 8,600 people have been prosecuted at the federal level since October 2006 — more than 200 of them in New Jersey.

That doesn’t count the pedophiles and would-be molesters being caught in record numbers locally. One of the most active agencies is in Bergen County, where investigative specialists with Prosecutor John L. Molinelli’s office have made dozens of arrests in just the past year of alleged child pornographers, traffickers and abusers.

“This type of predatory activity justifiably outrages ordinary citizens and those of us in law enforcement in equal measure,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said from his Newark office. “As developments in technology have made it easier and faster for those who prey on children to find one another and potential victims, this strategy advances our ability to stay ahead of those determined to exploit the defenseless.”

Fishman’s staff has cracked some significant cases — most recently the successful prosecution of several men involved in a child sex tourism ring. The leader, John Wrenshall, admitted inviting adults to travel to his home in Thailand in order to abuse boys, some as young as 4.

In May 2008, Interpol released a sanitized photograph of a man sexually abusing young Thai boys and made a global appeal for information that could identify him. Within 48 hours, he was identified as former Union City resident Waynbe Nelson Corliss, a local theater actor who played Santa Claus for area children, became the first of Wrenshall’s clients nabbed by authorities.

He’s now serving a 20-year prison sentence. Wrenshall has  yet to be sentenced.

Federal investigators in New Jersey also got guilty pleas to kiddie porn possession from a former Little League coach, a former police sergeant, and a former school bus driver.

Seven months ago, Eric Duprey of West New York admitted traveling to Illinois to have sex with a 13-year-old at least twice — including one time when he took action photos of the two of them in a hotel room.


For more information about the National Strategy to Combat Child Exploitation, Prevention and Interdiction, please click on : Project Safe Childhood

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