Investigators say child-pornography victims are getting younger, and the abuse is becoming more violent.
In Arizona, we know of 15,000 IP addresses (the Internet Protocol labels assigned to each computer device) belonging to people who own computers, cellphones and other electronic devices trading and downloading child porn.
A significant number of these videos and images consist of infants and young children being raped, tortured and sexually abused. Some of even include “how to” instructions on how a grown man can rape a 3-year-old and groom him or her for years of abuse.
Every one of these pictures and videos is a crime scene. But the vast majority of these leads will never be investigated, and most of these victims will not be rescued.
While Arizona has tough sentencing laws for those who prey on children, there are only four full-time investigators in the state to proactively investigate this depravity, along with a handful of part-time investigators from various agencies.
A full-time investigator can only handle 25 to 30 cases a year. It’s extremely stressful for these investigators, seeing videos of kids being raped with the knowledge they are unable to get to a fraction of what’s really out there.
Fifty to 70 percent of perpetrators who download and trade child pornography are considered “hands on” offenders who actively molest and abuse children, according to data from the Arizona Internet Crimes Against Children task force and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Sixty to 65 percent of the images intercepted in Arizona are of prepubescent children, and 9 percent of all victims are infants. Because of these very young ages, most victims cannot or do not report the abuse….
By Paul Boyer – Arizona Republic –