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Internet Child Sexual Predators

"The abuse of animals appears to bother many people more than the abuse
of children; I don’t think they understand what’s really going on out there."

Detective James McLaughlin -

The Blue Skunk Blog

Who are these people?

Internet child sexual predators are 94-96% male and generally range in age from 13 to 65 years of age. Approximately 12.5% of male offenders are married, 1.5% divorced, and 86% single (63% of whom have never had a homosexual experience). Internet child sexual predators would be most accurately classified as polymorphous offenders, i.e., they will prey on anyone/anything. There are four basic categories of Internet child sexual predators. These categories include the following:

Collectors - This group consist of many entry level offenders. Most of these offenders have no prior contact with law enforcement, or any known illegal contact with children. Some researchers believe that this group may never have become involved in collecting child porn had it not been for the Internet and its easy and, what the predators believe is, anonymous access. Their "collecting" begins with photographs of children from static (stationary) locations on the Internet (newsgroups and Web pages) and generally escalates over time to dynamic (interactive) locations which involves real-time interaction and the collection of Web Cam photos and video clips. There are literally thousands of child porn chat rooms on the Internet. Generally these "rooms" are subdivided into very specific subgroups depending on what type of human physical attributes (blond hair, pre-pubescent, blue eyes, Native American, Asian, slim, etc.) and Paraphilia (deviant sexual behavior) the "collector" is attracted to. Once the "collector" begins progressing into dynamic location interaction he has crossed into the illegal distribution of child porn. Predators classified as "collectors" range from age 13 to old age.

Travelers - This group is comprised of predators who engage in online chat with children, and who use their skills of manipulation and coercion to meet the child in person for sexual purposes. Most "travelers" also collect child pornography. Travelers usually fall within the ages of 17 and 56, with the majority between the ages of 17-29. The distances these men will travel to consummate their online relationships are incredible, literally across the country and internationally. Travelers "groom" their victims by developing trust, chatting about the child’s concerns and interests, and sympathizing with the child over any real or imagined difficulties the child is experiencing at home and/or school. Once a "relationship" has been established, usually within 2-4 chats, the traveler will introduce conversation of a sexual nature and escalate quickly. Travelers will send children cameras and Web Cams so the child can transmit pictures (pics) and videos (vides) of himself naked, masturbating (soloing) or simulating some other sexual activity the predator enjoys. They also send children money and bus or plane tickets to facilitate the child running away and joining their new "friend". Some of these offenders are the most dangerous people any child can meet online.

- Not all collectors are manufacturers, but all manufacturers are collectors. These predators distribute child porn usually by way of videotapes or CD-ROMS. The Internet explosion has seriously curtailed the manufacturer’s ability to make money because so much is now available free; however, the Russian mob has managed to create a cottage industry with international child porn and they are now the principle distributors throughout the world. To purchase these "products", the customer registers with Pay Pal; the same payment method used by E-bay. Many manufacturers are sexually involved with children and are likely to have criminal histories of sex offending. Manufacturers are the offenders most likely to harbor runaways who they coerce into making porn videos and posing for pictures which the manufacturer then sells. Manufacturers range in age from 26 to 53, will have all the latest computer camera equipment, and are known to frequent public locations where children are likely to congregate.

Chatters - These predators are rarely involved in child porn, instead preferring to take on the role of mentor to children in Internet chat rooms where they spend inordinate amounts of their time. Their innocent "teaching" quickly escalates to conversations of sex and they are avid fans of cybersex. The chatterer enjoys phone sex (Erotolalia), but rarely attempts to meet his child victim in person. The chatterer comprises the smallest group of Internet child sex predators.

Child sexual predators tend to be extremely ritualistic. Many report deriving as much excitement from their rituals as they do from their conquests. These predators spend tremendous amounts of time in locating and grooming their prey and will go to extraordinary lengths to insure that all contacts are orchestrated to perfection. They frequently have the room in which their computer is located designed to facilitate their obsessions; i.e., cameras, extra film, Viagra, soda cans to urinate into, towels, lubricants, pictures of other children, fetish objects, props, and souvenirs from past victims. They are generally paranoid about exposure of their activities in the real world yet remarkably careless and brazen online. Most Internet child sexual predators are very specific in their tastes. This predictability helps in tracking them by law enforcement because they tend to be chronic and static in their behaviors once their preferences have matured.

Child sexual predators rarely have only one obsession or deviation, the average is four with some predators indulging as many as ten. These obsessions, known as Paraphilias (pronounced pair-a-feel-e-as) within the mental health field, are recurrent, intense sexually arousing fantasies, sexual urges, or behaviors generally involving 1) nonhuman objects, 2) the suffering or humiliation of oneself or one’s partner, or 3) children or other non-consenting persons, that occur over a period of at least six months.

Paraphilias run a wide gambit from Pedophilia (sexual arousal by fantasies of, or actually engaging in, sexual contact with prepubertal children) to Bestiality (actual sexual contact with animals).

What can parents do?

Tell your child’s school that you do not want your child’s picture used in any way without your knowledge, i.e., online, in the newspaper, advertisements, etc. without your permission. It is chillingly easy to trace someone from an identified photo that innocently appears in public.

Do not allow your child unlimited access to the Internet, it may well be the most dangerous entertainment, toy and/or babysitter you could select. NEVER allow a child to have a computer in their room that has Internet access.

Do not allow your child to use a Web Cam, digital camera, or video camera without your very close supervision.

Do not allow your child to possess storage expansion devices for the computer, i.e., zip drives, CD-ROMS, additional hard drives, jump drives, video capture cards, etc. These devices are what are used to store photos and exchange photos and video clips.

Do not allow your child to access any type of evidence eraser, Internet washer or any other type of hard drive scrubber. No one can discover evidence once a computer’s hard drive has been "scrubbed".

Regularly search the Internet history on every computer with Internet access in your home, and don’t be hesitant to question the parents of other children your child may visit.

Very closely monitor chat rooms your child may visit. Chat rooms are where 90% of the initial contacts are made by Internet child sexual predators.

Monitor who your child calls on the phone and who calls them. Very often the predators initiate phone contact after a few Internet chats. Predators frequently send children pre-paid phone cards to use so that the calls will not be detected on your phone bill.

NEVER underestimate the persistence of the Internet predator. These people are incredibly accommodating with potential victims and they are totally obsessed. If you are at all suspicious of any message your child receives, please do not hesitate contacting the Cyber Tipline at:

This site is operated by the not-for-profit National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They will investigate your concern, report back to you, and contact the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction with the information they uncover. Their services are free.

Pay close attention! No child can be considered beyond the reach of child sexual predators; although, the predators are counting on your ignorance.

For additional information please see:

America's Most Wanted

A Safety Net for the Internet: Protecting Our Children

Child Help USA

Crisis Connection Statistics

Educating against High-tech Abuse

From Darkness to Light

Indiana Sex & Violent Offender Registry

Innocent Images National Initiative (FBI)

( The) More You Know

National Alert Registry

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Net Nanny

Pedophilia and Child Sexual Molestation

Pedophiles on the Web

Perverted Justice

Porn, Meth & Violence

Preventing the Sexual Exploitation of Children

( The) Sexual Abuse of Boys

( The) Sexual Abuse of Girls

To Catch a Predator

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

Warning Signs of Molestation


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