FOX16.com

Younger victims and more cases of online child pornography

In most cases, the crimes take place behind closed doors. The tools include cameras, videos, and the internet. The victims are children. Young children.
In most cases, the crimes take place behind closed doors. The tools include cameras, videos, and the internet.

The victims are children. Young children.

"They range in age from 18 months and up. It happens."

Sgt. Hoyt Harness is the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Coordinator with State police.

It's his job to track down what can only be described as a horrific crime.

"It's not the stranger danger issue. It's not someone unknown to the child,” Sgt. Harness said. "This is someone the child does know! This is happening in the home. Moms, Dads, Brothers, Siblings and friends."

The manurfacturing and distribution of child pornography is a global problem but as we found out it's also an arkansas problem.

FOX16 asked the State Police Cyber Crimes Unit to review its records over the past two years, and here's what they found:

Between January and June of 2010, only one public complaint of child pornography manufacturing to the cyber tipline.

Over the next six months - three complaints.

Six months after that - it increased to nine.

And then, between July and December of 2011, there was a startling find -the number of complaints skyrocketed to 40.

Each one is investigated thoroughly, and the starting point is usually a graphic photo or video involving a young innocent child.

"The worst part of that is the sound, you know, what you hear,” Sgt. Harness said. “It changes you forever."

Sgt. Harness says those behind the lens use the images in a number of ways, but in most cases its not for profit.

And if they want something specific they seek it out from others who share the same obsession. But because of the internet, tracking them down isn't easy.

"I don't believe we're able currently... to apply the resources that we may have available to us.. to the problem and I don't mean law enforcement in general..I mean as a community."

Meaning state police is doing all it can, but it's also up to you to fight back as well.

"Parents today whose children are safe at home have an opportunity to step out there, even if it upsets a child, to step out there and find out what they're involved in and get between them and those who would hurt them- before it's too late."
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