THE PROBLEM WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
MY CONVERSATION WITH AN IDIOT UNDERSCORES THE PROBLEM WITH CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
May 30, 2014
Summary: Last week, over 70 New Yorkers were caught collecting and trading child pornography. When you realize some of the misconceptions, truths, and characteristics related to the child pornography industry, the reality is that it’s difficult to spot one of these creeps in a crowd. However, it’s not so hard to have an unintelligent conversation about it.
If there are any doubts about how large and dangerous the child pornography industry is, check out this conversation I had with a random stranger at the DMV while I was waiting in line. The conversation centered on last week’s arrest in New York of over 70 New York City-area people, in addition to 600 computers, tablets, phones, and other media containing vast amounts of child pornography during Operation Caireen – one of the largest child pornography stings ever. It’s interesting to note that the investigation grew its roots with the arrest of one person – a former police chief.
The truth is that there are many facts, and misconceptions surrounding child pornography. Some of these misconceptions are as ignorant as they are stupid; and some of the truths are harrowing, as you’ll see.
Random Stranger: Hey dude, what’s up?
RS: Bruh…nice suit! What’s the occasion?
Me: [Knowing I’m going to dread this conversation] Work.
RS: What do you do man?
Me: I’m a lawyer.
RS: [Completely oblivious] Whoa cool, that must mean, like, you’re really smart or something. Do you put bad guys in jail?
Me: No; I represent victims. For example, if someone gets injured or abused, I represent them in court.
RS: Duuude, that’s really awesome man. I’m from New York, and my mom told me about some massive arrest of like 70 people with child porn last week….so, would you represent those types of victims?
Me: Actually, yes. I’m surprised you’re familiar with the story.
RS: Small world, right?!?! It was probably a bunch of broke dudes living in their parents’ basement doing all this sh*t.
Me: I could see how you’d think that. But if you read the article, you’d notice that a lot of them were in a position of trust – police officer, rabbi, Little League coach, and Boy Scout leader. There was even a mom of one of the children arrested too. Plus, a lot of them were supposedly successful at work and at home.
RS: Yeah man…it sucks for those children, but better them than me at least. I mean…it was their choice after all, right?
Me: [Aghast] You’re kidding, right? Of course it wasn’t their choice. I’m not sure if you realize this about traffickers and child pimps, but they’re pretty good at what they do. They know how to manipulate or force a child into the industry.
RS: [Enlightened] Nah man, I didn’t know that. I guess you learn something new every day! I guess you might be right about it not being the kid’s choice, but those are like the homeless kids and rejects.
Me: You’d be surprised……
RS: I’ve been wrong before, but I’m pretty sure I’m right on this one. It’s gotta be over half.
Me: Not sure if this will change your mind, but did you know that 35% that produce child pornography are their own parents, or that an additional 28% are relatives, friends, or neighbors? That’s a lot, considering that there’s over 100,000 children forced into the industry.
RS: [Unconvinced] I don’t know man…. Even if you’re right, why is our corrupt government wasting time on prosecuting guys for getting 17 year olds to hook up on camera? I mean, there’s a lot of high school seniors that could get busted for smashin’ their girlfriend, just because their girl is a year younger than them.
Me: I don’t think you completely understand child pornography. The average child age in the industry is 13 – and plenty of those children are infants. And technically, that high school senior in your story could get busted – I’m guessing that’s not you though, right?
RS: Damn…that’s some nasty business. I’m glad you do what you do then.
RS: [Trailing off] And to address your question, of course not…. Well, there was this one time when I….
Me: Please, just stop before you say anything else.
RS: Sorry, cool bro. So dude, you keep saying ‘industry,’ like it’s run by Vivid or something like that. It doesn’t seem like it would be an industry; it seems more like a black market – like drugs man.
Me: Not an industry, you say? What if I told you that it’s a $3 billion…with the letter ‘B’ industry per year?
RS: [Surprised] That’s a lot of money bruh.
Me: [Also surprised] I think we finally agree on something.
RS: [In a rare moment of brilliance] Those guys in New York were dumb about it; don’t they know that their IP addresses show up on the image cache? It’s not that hard to trace an IP address back to the owner of the computer…freaking idiots! Plus, because of Edward Snowden, I know now that the NSA collects all the information from the Google. So like the stuff they type into the search engines and stuff.
Me: [Mind, blown] Good point; I think we can agree that it’s not worth it. The internet seems to have made child pornography even more graphic than what it used to be.
RS: You only live once, bro!
Me: [Disgusted] You are, without question, the worst person I’ve talked to today.
DMV Attendant: [Not amused] …next!
RS: [Chuckles] Thanks for the talk, looks like I’m next. I think I want to be a lawyer now dude.
Me: [Facepalm] Good luck….something tells me you will need it.
Clearly, most people will not be as myopic (or as stoned) as the person in my conversation, but it underscores a larger problem – that there is glaring lack of awareness about child pornography, or child trafficking. In addition, there are warning signs that many of these child molesters exhibit that can alert you to victims of these heinous crimes.
If your child, or a child you know is a victim of sexual abuse and/or trafficking, contact your local police department and report it. To find out more about the victim’s legal rights, contact Estey & Bomberger today to get a free consultation at (800) 925-0723 or via email at email@example.com.