AG targets child sex predatorsAttorney General J.B. Van Hollen has made rounding up child sex predators a top priority of Wisconsin’s justice department.
By: Gil Halsted, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has made rounding up child sex predators a top priority of Wisconsin’s Justice Department. His strategy is to target pedophiles that use the Internet to both find their victims and distribute child porn.
Since he took office in 2007, Van Hollen has partnered with more than 100 local law enforcement agencies in the state thorough his Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The result this year is more than 100 people arrested on internet child porn charges. Van Hollen says it’s been an uphill battle to convince local law enforcement that web-based child enticement is a serious public safety issue. He says many in law enforcement leadership aren’t aware how significant the problem of internet child porn is, and how much they can do about it.
What they can do, says Van Hollen, is use the web to cast a net in which to trap child pornographers. He says he’s pushing hard to expand internet investigations to catch more people who view child porn on their computers, which should lead to more criminal cases.
This year, the Department of Justice has provided technical web support to local law enforcement in more than 600 child porn investigations. Still many child advocates say studies show most child sex abuse offenses are committed by family members, and not by predators surfing the net for victims.