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The Internet is an innovation that has benefited the human race immeasurably. It has changed the way all of us live in a fundamental way. The foundation of this change is that information is now available in seconds that would have taken hours or days to obtain 30 years ago. Sadly, this is not always a good thing, and it’s certainly not always a good thing for children’s rights. The Internet has provided predators with opportunities to search for young targets.
Fortunately, law enforcement struck a blow for children’s rights and safety recently as a sting operation netted 238 arrests of suspected child sexual predators across Southern California. The arrests are part of an ongoing effort by law enforcement agencies across the country to identify those who are looking to engage in sexual activity with minors.
According to an article published in the Los Angeles Times, a link to which can be found here, the effort was known as “Operation Broken Heart III” and it has been ongoing for a period of two months. It was conducted by the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. The arrests were made throughout April and May. The task force in Los Angeles is one of 61 that is currently operating across the United States, all of which are being funded by the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. This entire operation began in 2014.
The agents working on the operation spent their time on the Internet searching for adults who were looking for children online for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts. Different techniques and approaches were used for different suspects. Social media Web sites and other forums were scoured and suspects were given the impression that agents were going to help them find what they were looking for. One suspect traveled from Australia to California before being arrested.
As the article states and as many people who work to protect the rights and safety of children will attest, keeping our young people safe starts at home. We need to be able to have direct and clear discussions with children about what they are doing when they are on the Internet. This activity also needs to be monitored and children need to understand that they should feel comfortable talking to parents or other trusted adults if they encounter anything unusual.
We also need to hold those responsible for this type of indescribable conduct accountable. Law enforcement is doing its best to curtail this activity, but private citizens also need to take action against both those committing these acts and anyone who is negligently or recklessly allowing someone to prey on children.
If you suspect that your child is being harmed or is in any danger of being harmed, act immediately. Contact law enforcement if you feel that is necessary and contact a children’s rights lawyer at Gomez Trial Attorneys to schedule a free initial consultation.
John Gomez founded the firm alone in 2005. Today, John acts as President and Lead Trial Attorney. He has been voted by his peers as a top ten San Diego litigator in three separate fields: Personal Injury, Insurance and Corporate Litigation. Since 2000, he has recovered over $800 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients with more than 160 separate recoveries of one million dollars or more. A prolific trial lawyer, John has tried to jury verdict more than 60 separate cases.
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