It used to be that those who engaged in underage pornography and other sex offenses only had to worry about being caught by police in the areas where they lived. By taking only the most basic steps to conceal their identity and their location, they were often safe from arrest and prosecution. But today's law enforcement tactics are much more sophisticated. Not only do investigators have more technology and other tools to track down sex offenders, but they've teamed up to support each other's efforts, even relying on officials in other countries to help them catch sex crime suspects.
This means that a tip about a sexual offense happening in Wisconsin could come from as far away as Europe. Child pornography is viewed and shared by people across the world, and detectives working under the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations know how to find it. They're also getting increasingly adept at tracking the source of this content.
A recent HSI investigation resulted in the arrest of 245 people worldwide, including a 27-year-old man from Beaver Damn, Wisconsin. He's accused of taking inappropriate photos of his fiance's daughter and niece, along with a friend's daughter, who range in age from 5 to 8 years old. Investigators say the pictures, which were taken with a cellphone, appeared on a Russian website. The man is accused of sharing 190 underage pornography images and 49 videos that detectives said they found in his email account. Special agents from HSI obtained a state warrant to search the man's home in October and he was subsequently arrested and charged with possession of underage pornography.
The expansion of resources police dedicate to finding sex crime suspects has also led to more convictions. With more evidence to use in prosecuting suspects, it's becoming increasingly difficult for people to avoid conviction. It takes a particularly skilled defense attorney to build a successful defense against underage pornography charges, and it's in the best interest of defendants to seek out this legal help to avoid the most serious penalties that exist for sex offenders. Not every case will end in a conviction, but an aggressive criminal defense is essential for a successful outcome for the defendant.
Source: NBC15.com, "Beaver Dam Man Arrested in National Child Porn Investigation," Jan. 3, 2013
- Our firm works with those who have been accused of sex offenses or other serious crimes. To learn more about our practice, visit our Milwaukee underage pornography defense page.