Retired Agent Calls for Harsher Porn Penalties
 
Retired Agent Calls for Harsher Porn Penalties
03.25.09

By James Gilbert, Sun Staff Writer

A retired FBI agent who specialized in obscenity and sexual crimes against children for 23 years while with the bureau, said the investigation and prosecution of illegal adult pornography in many instances could reduce the number of children getting sexually exploited.

Roger Young, who now serves as a consultant to law enforcement agencies and nonprofits, said in almost every child sex crime case he investigated, hard-core illegal adult pornography was involved in some way.

“Illegal hard-core adult pornography and sexual exploitation of children are closely connected because it is often shown to children in order to seduce them,” he said during a recent visit to Yuma. “Child pornography grew out of adult pornography and it is now difficult to separate the two.”

He added that what’s on the Internet now is some of the worst material he has seen in 23-1/2 years of conducting investigations for the FBI.

One way to help combat the problem, Young said, is for states where pornography laws are only misdemeanor offenses to change their laws to increase them to felonies.

“It could prevent untold amounts of instances of children being sexually exploited.”

Young called the Internet one of the most dangerous places for a child, and with more and more children getting online, it has caused a huge increase in crimes against children.

He added that two out of every five children are unwantingly exposed to hard-core porn on the Internet.

Before, molesters who were seeking children for sexual purposes, Young said, would have to go where children hang out. But now with the Internet, it is much easier because they are using it for their stalking ground, according to Young, who has posed online as a child while working with the FBI.

According to Young, a majority of the porn on the Internet is created by a small group of pornographers in northern California.

Young, now a part-time professor at the University of Nevada, Reno for the Criminal Justice Department, said he believes there is a way for people to stem the proliferation of Internet porn.

He and another retired law enforcement officer investigate complaints about online obscenity, such as pornography, that are filed with Morality in Media’s (MIM) Web site, www.obscenitycrimes.org (no longer a valid website).

Young said people can file a complaint with the Web site and he and the other retired officer, who also has experience in handling obscenity crimes, will fully investigate it.

Once they have completed their investigation, Young said, they file a detailed report with the National Obscenity Prosecution Task Force in Washington, D.C., and to every U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI bureau within the jurisdiction of where the focus of the complaint was based for investigation, follow-up and potential prosecution.

“Many, many people just don’t see the big picture of obscenity and the problems that it causes,” Young said.

Young added he has even investigated three of four complaints made to the Web site from the Yuma area but did not know the outcome of any of those cases.

Young also investigated a complaint made to the obscenity crimes Web site about the Web site Whitehouse.com, which helped bring it to the attention of authorities, who eventually shut it down in 2004.


James Gilbert can be reached at jgilbert at yumasun.com or 539-6854.

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