Franklin County Courthouse Requires Everyone To Wear Masks This Summer. Learn More

Possession of Child Porn: Who Are These Guys?

/

If you were to poll 100 people on the street and ask them to describe a person who possesses child pornography, the majority will begin by saying "creepy old guys who drive non-descript white work vans", or something to that effect.

Hollywood has done a marvelous job of solidifying that image into our heads, with such shows as "Law & Order: SVU", "Criminal Minds", and others. Hollywood is not reality, only an interpretation of reality. Are there pedophiles driving non-descript white vans? Absolutely, without a doubt, however, there are far more who do not "fit the mold" we have been trained to look out for.

Over the last several years, we've seen an increase in clients coming to us after being arrested or investigated for possession of child pornography. All of them are men and none of them fit the Hollywood caricature.

This is an example of our typical "Child Porn" client. "Mark" came to us after being charged with possession of, pandering of and dissemination of child pornography. He graduated from one America's top universities, held a high-paying job with an investment bank, and had no criminal history.

He did not deny having these images and files on his computer. He did not deny having a sexual draw to children under the age of 13. He did not deny sharing these files with other like-minded individuals.

He claimed he had never had sex with a minor child and no evidence was found that showed he had engaged in this type of sexual activity. He stated he, from about age 18, had "just been drawn" to this age group. He had tried dating women his own age, but his preferences kept him from having any type of fulfilling relationships with those near his own age.

"Mark" told us getting child pornography was not difficult to get. He stated one would not have to go any further than subscribing to a chat forum, telling us he had first found child porn on MSNBC.com. He stated all one has to do is type in the Meta terms desired and one would be linked to others with the same preferences.

He stated there were other programs, such as FrostWire, that allow peer-to-peer file transfers. The person logging on would dedicate a folder or folders that could be shared with others and tie that folder to the program. Anyone can access the folder(s) and pull information from them. He stated he could also pull information from others' computer files. The transfers happen anonymously, meaning you do not know who is accessing your files, and you not necessarily know the person whose files you are accessing.

Mark indicated he thought he may have typed in a "targeted" term and law enforcement was on the other end. He stated there had been a couple of weeks between the time of the file transfer and his arrest.

Mark, by his own account had been downloading child pornography for almost a decade. No one, including his family, knew of his proclivities and desires, nor knew of his computer activities. Had he not been caught, he would still be downloading these files.