Child pornography is a growing problem in our community.
Conner Eldridge, U.S. District Attorney of the Western District of Arkansas has seen 22 cases this year.
“It is amazing how sick these crimes really are,” Eldridge said.
The images can be caught the Benton County Cyber-Crimes Unit.
Many question how are the images and predators tracked.
“What we do is when we get here in the mornings is we look and see if our computer was able to find any downloads or any images of child pornography that have been shared,” said Cpl. Greg Stevenson. “What we do from there is we are able to subpoena information off the information received through our computer.”
The systems and software track down a location, from there a search warrant would be issued.
Statistics show as many as 325,000 children in the U.S., Canada and Mexico are at risk to being sexually exploited.
Eldridge said some of those who are caught with child porn admit to abuse.
Experts said there are signs of abuse you can look out for.
Those include, pain, bleeding, redness or swelling in anal or genital area.
Age-inappropriate sexual play and age-inappropriate knowledge of sex.
After a suspect is convicted the punishment is substantial. But what about the child, what’s next?
“When a victim of these crimes is detected to first off make sure to the extent that it`s possible they tell their story the least amount of times as possible,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge said the child goes through extensive therapy and counseling. With internet constantly moving can those viral images ever be destroyed?
“I wish there were an easy answer to that,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge said it’s important to remember you can help protect your children from sexual abuse by being active in their lives and teaching them safety skills.
If you suspect a child is being abused call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.