Nationwide Operation Leads to Arrests of Nearly 1,700 Suspected Child Sex Predators

Nationwide Operation Leads to Arrests of Nearly 1,700 Suspected Child Sex Predators BY IVAN PENTCHOUKOV for The Epoch Times

Law enforcement officers across the nation arrested almost 1,700 suspected child sex predators in April and May, the Department of Justice announced on June 10.

Specialized Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task forces in all 50 states identified 357 child victims who were either sexually abused or exploited for the production of child pornography.

An eponymous operation executed last year netted 2,300 child sex predator suspects.

“The sexual abuse of children is repugnant, and it victimizes the most innocent and vulnerable of all,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. “We must bring the full force of the law against sexual predators, and with the help of our Internet Crimes Against Children program, we will.”

Since its launch in 1998, the ICAC Task Force Program carried out the arrests of more than 95,500 suspected child sex predators and reviewed 922,000 complaints. Operation Broken Heart targets child pornography producers, predators who entice children into sex acts online, child sex traffickers, and suspects who travel across state lines and to other countries to sexually abuse children.

This year, ICAC reviewed more than 18,500 complaints. The program also provides training sessions to children across the country. These internet safety courses reached more than 200,000 children in April and May.

One in seven children who use the internet receives unwanted sexual solicitations, according to the New York ICAC. Online predators often pose as children to trick child victims into trusting them. The predators exploit the trust to get the children to produce sexually explicit material. The children who fall prey to the scheme are then often extorted with the threat that their photographs would be sent to their family and friends.

Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General Edward O’Callaghan in Atlanta on June 11 “as society becomes more advanced, so do the predators.”

“No longer do they merely lurk around the playground or the schoolyard. Instead, these deviants use advanced technologies to facilitate their crimes, targeting children in online chat rooms and videogame lobbies,” Callaghan said.

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