Friday, March 09, 2007


Want to view pictures of adults sexually abusing children? And what kind of person would do something like that, anyway?

No, we're not talking about horny men hookin' up with teenaged girls they met in an online chat room, although that is just as wrong (not to mention illegal). I'm referring to REAL YOUNG children.

The reason I bring this up this morning is that the Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested ten men Thursday in an ongoing investigation of downloading and posessing child pornography; their computers had been seized back in January. An eleventh man, apparantly realizing what they would find and the likely consequences, chose to hang himself instead.

From today's Lakeland Ledger:

At a press conference Thursday morning, detectives played the audio portion of a child pornography clip taken from one of the men's computers. In it a man could be heard saying "Good baby" and a baby could be heard crying as it was sexually assaulted.

"It takes your breath away and it breaks your heart that these children have been victimized like that, and that these so-called human beings find energy and entertainment in that," [Sheriff Grady] Judd said.

The images on the computers were so vile, "No normal human being can imagine it," [Assistant State Attorney Brad] Copley said.

None of the men who have been arrested are accused of molesting children nor of making the child pornography that was on their computers, Judd said.

However, by seeking out and frequently buying child pornography, these men help create a market for it, and encourage the manufacture of new child pornography.

"These people enjoy it, relish it, and go out and look for it," he said.

WFLA-TV's report of the arrests noted that some of the pornographic pictures were of sexual abuse of children as young as one year old. I almost wept reading the story, as I have a beautiful five year old granddaughter that is worth more to me than life itself, and to even think that something as vile and sickening as that could happen to her...or any child...

I had been wondering about Sheriff Judd. Last summer I noted here that he turned down an offer to participate in Dateline NBC's "To Catch A Predator" series because "he felt more comfortable having his own detectives handle the investigation from start to finish. The NBC crew was insisting on volunteers from the group Perverted Justice, which has worked with the show in it's previous editions of the series, do the online chats. They went to Fort Myers instead and worked with the Lee County Sheriff's Office". In the most recent edition of the series, the crew returned to Florida and teamed up with the Flagler Beach Police Department.

Anyway, a huge 'attaboy' to the PCSO this morning. It's a small step, as internet service providers need to be more vigiliant in finding and shutting down websites that contain such garbage, and those that don't should be considered just as guilty as those who put the sites up. The real work will be to find those sickos.


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