One perpetrator posted on a child porn trading site a sonogram of an unborn child and the words “I have a new baby about to be added to the game.’’
Recently, there has been greater awareness about the extent of child sex trafficking in America. Journalists, like Nick Kristof of The New York Times, have written powerfully about this subject. The Washingtonian published an important article last year, “You’re Pretty-You Could Make Some Money.” There are meet-up groups, films, conferences, books, and walks to end child sex slavery, mostly focused on teenage children.
A certain kind of person may comfort themselves with a false belief that children trafficked for sex are “runaway” children from “broken families” and therefore their own children are safe. The implication is almost always white, well-off families like theirs. I’m not making this argument. I am suggesting the elite, educated, largely white circles I know often make this argument—even if they do not say so out loud.
The irony of the ingrained racism around common perceptions of child sex abuse is that pedophiles, the ones getting arrested for child porn anyway, appear to be overwhelmingly white men. One British report noted that “dual offenders are almost exclusively white males… aged between 19 and 45.” The same report continues “the majority… lived with a spouse or partner” and “had access to their own or a partner’s children” and access to other children “through extended family, employment, voluntary work, and via friends and neighbours.”
White, trusted men with access to your child. That appears to be the average pedophile profile.
While there may be increasing awareness of teenage child sex trafficking, albeit skewed with denial and prejudice, the subject no one wants to discuss is infant and toddler porn which appears to be a booming market.
Infant and toddler porn, the recorded sexual abuse of children under three years old, is considered platinum in pedophile circles.
Any pedophile can get his/her hands on a ten or twelve year old child but access to an infant or toddler is far more difficult. Children under three do not walk out of the house. They are not available after school or at swimming practice. Children under three are not independent of their parents or care-givers.
Therefore a pedophile interested in molesting small children, as many are, must find ways to gain regular access to that child. Just like any commodity, the more difficult to obtain, the higher the price. Not only is access to children under three difficult, children grow up fast, soon aging out of the infant/toddler category making the time a pedophile has with an infant or toddler all the more valuable.
Remember, child sex abuse, documented by videos and images, is nothing more than a commodity to pedophiles. It is their drug of choice and like heroin they want their regular fix. Infant and toddler porn is the premium stuff for many pedophiles. And, by its very nature, infant and child porn production implies the parent or care-giver of the child is involved.
A recent USA Today article details the rise of “homemade” child porn. The videos confiscated by law enforcement depict “unwitting children appear holding homemade placards bearing the pseudonyms of the macabre films’ makers…. children, some pleading for help, being sexually abused in torturous ways by parents, relatives or others. Among the worst: infants used as toys for the videographers’ and viewers’ sexual gratification.”
The child porn industry is driven by a demand for extremely young victims, newly abused children, massive video/image collections and live-stream abuse. Arrest records consistently document pedophiles gathering thousands upon thousands of videos/images of brutal abuse. Like Khalil Survey, a 39 year old from New Jersey, who had 46,353 images including 983 of infants or toddlers upon his arrest.
Cyber crime investigators are reporting that child porn videos/images have become “currency” in pedophile networks. Pedophiles seek newly abused children and pay the highest prices for fresh material. “From an investigative perspective, new material means ongoing abuse and unidentified victims.” The European police agency, Europol, says “The value is in the novelty of the image, as a result of which images and videos have become bargaining chips.”
For example, Connecticut Police Captain David Bourque, a 51 year old decorated officer with more than 31 years in law enforcement. Bourque had more than 328,528 images and 4,000 videos of “sadistic and violent acts” including against infants and toddlers. His “collection” was organized into more than 300 subfolders named “photos — babies — men” and “6–10yo boys pics.” Prosecutors said the images were “extremely disturbing; some are especially horrific.”
Captain Bourque is D for Defendant. This is a section from one of his on-line chats in pedophile networks.
What percentage of child porn confiscated by law enforcement upon arrest is infant and toddler porn? It’s a good question. We do not know because, law enforcement, like the Department of Justice’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, are not collecting and/or releasing detailed information on the demographics of their arrest records.
Outside America, more public information appears accessible. The United Nations (UN) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reports “nearly 20 percent of individuals possessing child pornography had images of babies and children aged under 3 and more than 80 percent had images of children aged between 6 and 12.”
These numbers are from 2009 which, in terms of the child porn industry, is when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Think about it. The vast majority of child porn features the sex abuse of children under twelve with twenty percent of those children under three; toddlers and infants.
A 2012 British report documents child sex abuse is “becoming more extreme, sadistic and violent” against younger and younger children. Arrests in the United Kingdom, from 2010–2012, featured a 70% increase in female victims aged under ten with an increase in extreme abuse including “penetrative” abuse; objects forced into young children’s anuses, vaginas, and mouths.
This shocking report, from Britain’s National Crime Agency, calls the new child porn “brutal” and documents that the older method pedophiles used, grooming a child slowly over a period of months, has been “largely replaced by rapid escalation to threats, intimidation and coercion.”
Child porn is the documented evidence of child torture and it should be regulated as such under the Convention Against Torture.
So that is a brief overview of some of the published research on infant and toddler porn. Not much and not one law enforcement report, that I could locate, dedicated exclusively to documenting the scope and frequency of the sex abuse of children under the age of three.
What do you find if you follow media reports of arrests for child porn that include infant and toddlers? A great deal more.
Infant and child porn appears to have gone mainstream, judging from my near daily Twitter searches of child porn arrests over the past two years. Arrests for infant and toddler porn appear to be less and less aberrant and more and more common.
Check it out for yourself. Type infant porn into the Twitter Search Box and see for yourself. Just be extremely careful to only click on links from reputable news organizations. Child porn is widely being shared on Twitter and, to date, Twitter has allowed this to continue.
Child porn, including infant and toddler porn, is also widely shared on Facebook and other social media platforms from SnapChat to Instagram. Last March, 2013, for example, the sex abuse of an infant girl was shared on Facebook over 32,000 times with 5,000 likes in the eight hours it took Facebook to remove the video.
One video of the sex abuse of an infant viewed and shared by 32,000 people in eight hours. This one case alone demonstrates how popular infant porn has become and how freely pedophiles are sharing, out in the open, on Facebook.
As I mentioned, ideally, we should simply be able to log onto the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and view arrest and prosecution details. But since the US Government is failing and/or refusing to make this data available, I can only provide my own review of public media reports of child porn arrests.
These are only a few recent examples, essentially a snap-shot in time, with more arrests taking place almost daily:
• The late Moshe Gerstein, a 35 year old former attorney died in Mexico, with cause of death reported as “not clear” after he fled, while out on bail, pending trial for his child porn arrest. Gerstein attended Yale University, graduating from Harvard Law School, and worked at some of America’s most prestigious law firms, including Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Gibson Dunn. Gerstein had over 5,000 images of babies and toddlers being “brutally raped and sexually abused.” He was arrested as part of an investigation of a Manhattan pedophile ring that included “stockpiled images of the brutal rapes and sexual assaults of tens of thousands of real children.”
• Jonathan Adleta, a former US Marine Corps Officer, made sex abuse of their future children a pre-condition for marriage telling this then girl-friend, Sarah, he “dreamed of the day he could have “daddy-daughter sex.” The Adleta’s “made sex with their children “part of their parenting plan” and together molested, documented and shared the abuse of their infant and toddler age children on the internet.
• Peter Kingman Lindsley, a 49-year-old Houston man, was arrested for thousands of images of child porn “the vast majority of which featured infants.”
• Raymond Cain, a 26 year old South Carolina man using the screen name “pedoyou” was arrested for distribution of child porn including infants and toddlers. He told investigators he was “turned on” by the sex abuse of infants and he had been requesting, on internet chat sessions, images of babies being raped. “The bloodier the better,” he said.
• Dr. Rocco Martino, a 43 year old New Jersey doctor, plead guilty to receiving and distributing “sadistic and violent” videos and images of children under the age of 12, including toddlers, being sexually abused “sometimes violently.” Investigators said the child porn included “very young children being restrained and sexually abused, including one image of a toddler bound and gagged.” Dr. Martino is graduate of Columbia University, Princeton University and completed his medical residency at Brown Medical School.
• Robert Dale Schrader, a 33 year old landscaper, was arrested for distribution of images of the sex abuse of a three month old infant, a relative of his, using a Yahoo email account to send multiple images of the infant to an undercover officer.
• Natisha Hillard, a 24 year old mother, sold her 18 month old daughter on-line for sex abuse and child porn production.
• A Homeland Security Operation Sunflower rescued 120 sexually abused children, one only 19 days old. Forty-four of these children were living with their abusers. Seventy of the children were girls and 53 were boys spread across 19 American states and included abuse by a first-grade teacher and an airline pilot. Homeland Security said its recent operations were showing new trends in child porn, notably, “younger children were more often abused and more women were directly involved in carrying out the abuse.”
• Theresa Goddard, a 45 year old British woman, was arrested at Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia when she traveled to the DC region to start “an incest family” with a man who said he had two young children available for sex abuse. The man was an undercover agent with Homeland Security.
• Edward DeSear, a 67 year old former law partner at a prestigious New Jersey law firm and father of two active in local charities, was sentenced for distribution of hundreds of child porn images and for sex trafficking of an adopted Russian boy that he paid cash to abuse when the child was four and six years old. The child’s parents, Mark Newton and Peter Truong, Australian citizens, had been producing “hardcore” child porn with the boy and selling him for sex abuse. The child porn was distributed on a pedophile network called Boy Lovers. The child had been sexually abused by his parents and others since he was eighteen months old.
• John Powell, a once prominent Florida law partner, was arrested for his role as “a ring leader in the global child sex operation.” He had been involved since at least 2009. This is the same pedophile ring that above mentioned lawyer Edward DeSear participated in with the same adopted Russian boy. Powell would travel with Truong and Newton and the child, selling the child for sex abuse and using “a high definition camera to video record the sexual acts” for child porn production.
• Ronald Clark, a 33 year old Syracuse man, raped two girls, two and four years old, while his wife held the children down. He was caught distributing child porn. The prosecutor said this case spotlights “the seriousness of child pornography… Possession of child pornography isn’t always just possessing child pornography, people will actually act on these things.”
• Twenty-nine year old Gordon Oehmig, former Coach of the Year, a Texas wrestling and football coach, was arrested for child porn. He had more than 1,500 images and 900 videos of child sex abuse, including the sex abuse of toddler and infants as young as one year old. Oehmig had been called, in a Houston Chronicle article, “a perfect model for his athletes.”
• Desiree Lee Padilla, a 22 year old Rio Grande Valley woman, sent images of a baby to a convicted sex offender she met him on the social media network MocoSpace. She “complied and posed the girl while performing a sexual act on her.”
• ” href=”http://www.fox19.com/story/20995608/james-napier-38-charged-with-20-counts-of-producing-child-porn%3E” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>James Napier, a 38 year old Ohio man was charged with making child porn of an 11 month old baby and 9 year old girl. He was caught when he was attempting to sell the images on-line.
• Heather Koon, a 25 year old Ohio woman, was arrested for the rape of a 1 year old and a 2 year old and filming the rapes for her lover. She faces charges for the rape of at least four children while employed at the daycare.
• Patrick Logan Durrett, a 24 year old Indiana man, was arrested for distributing the sexual abuse of children as young as 4 months old, including an infant girl in bondage, along with hundreds of images and videos of children all under the age of 5 years old.
• Arthur Frazer, a 34 year old New Jersey man, arrested for distribution of infant child porn with more than 600 images, “including sadistic and masochistic conduct and images with violent overtones.”
• Corey McAdoo, a former Marine staff sergeant who was called a “poster guy for the Marines,” was charged with child porn in Oregon after a female friend sent him videos of herself sexually abusing her infant nephew.
• An extensive infant and toddler sex abuse ring was busted through the identification of a stuffed animal, a bunny, seen in some of the images. Perpetrators included a father of three who was a Sheraton hotel manager in Massachusetts, an emergency medical technician in Kansas, and a day care worker in the Netherlands. At the time, forty-three men were arrested for producing and distributing child porn involving over 140 children. The oldest only four years old. The youngest just nineteen days old. Some of the images included a “naked 2-year-old boy in a roasting pan inside his oven,” a two year child bound and raped in a hotel room, and eighteen month old boy molested by his day-care provider. The chats included “exchanging explicit photos of the attacks… [and] abducting, cooking and eating youngsters.”
• Salvatore Barbaro, a 32 year old man from Pennsylvania had, “more than 1,000 of images of children engaged in sexual acts” including infant porn and “images depicted children under the age of 6 naked and engaging in sex acts with adult men.”
• Myriah Moreland, a 20 year old Washington State mother, was arrested for production and distribution of child porn, videos and images, of herself molesting her own six month old son on the social media site Skout. The investigating police called the images “alarming” and “appalled even the veteran investigators.”
• Kenneth Kyle, a 46 year old California State East Bay professor, who flew to Missouri and molested a five month old girl in hotel rooms, along with the infant girl’s mother, who participated in the abuse, was sentenced.
• Don Francis, a 42 year old social studies and science teacher at Erwin Middle School in Louisiana, where he had taught for ten years, was charged with twenty-two counts of child porn including “children — newborns to preteens — being raped or put in other sexually explicit poses.”
• Erika Perdue, a 41 year old wealthy Texas housewife, living in a $1.4 million dollar home across from a children’s playground, was arrested for distribution of child porn that included toddlers. “Agents say the images were extremely graphic and showed children — some of them toddlers — having intercourse with adults.”
• David Bostic, a 26 year old baby-sitter in Indiana, produced child porn of the infants and young children in his care and traded these images on-line. Indiana police said Bostic was the “most prolific producer of child pornography.”
• ” href=”http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2012/05/adams_county_couple_get_a_comb.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter%3E” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”>Michael and Rebecca Strausbaugh, a thirty-something Pennsylvania couple, molested their own daughter, reported to be younger than 1 year old, and distributed this abuse on-line.
• John Burbine, a 49 year old Massachusetts man, was arrested for raping more than a dozen children as young as 8 days old and no older than three and half years. The children were abused multiple times over many months as the man produced and distributed the infant and toddler porn on-line. The children were enrolled in the daycare operated by the man’s wife. Investigators called it “among the most troubling and disturbing cases.”
• Gary Romano, a 56 year old Pennsylvania man who advertised on a “reputable national online nanny and babysitting service,” was caught producing and distributing sexually explicit pictures of a 2 year old girl. His online nanny profile said he “can help kids play games, do arts and crafts, give them snacks, help with homework” and “wants to be sort of a grandfather.”
The last taboo subject, no one wants to acknowledge, is child porn snuff; where children are sexually and physically tortured over a series of videos and ultimately killed on camera.
There seems to be no solid research on child porn snuff and it was even difficult to find articles on child porn snuff in main-stream media sources. I list only a few here and include British articles as British media seems to be more willing to report on child porn snuff than US media.
Judging by very limited media reports of child porn arrests that include snuff, it appears to be both a major money maker and on the increase. What percentage of the reported child porn arrests included videos and images of child porn snuff? My guess, probably far more than investigators have been willing to report.
• Sean Gossman, a 24 year old Michigan man, was arrested for child porn snuff. He had lost his thumb-drive, found by a child at a playground and given to police. The thumb-drive contained images of a dead infant with a noose around her neck, a bag over her head and a stomach tattoo that said “nep-rape.”
• Red Saunders, a 23 year old British photography student, posed as a babysitter and filmed himself abusing girls, including the rape of an eight-year-old girl. He had more than 4,000 videos and photographs of young girls that he abused as a baby-sitter. He also had an “abduction diary” which described “how to abduct little girls, abuse them and then kill them and dispose of their bodies.”
• The British newspaper The Guardian, reported on “the biggest ever international investigation into the production and supply of paedophile ‘snuff’ movies.” Dmitri Vladimirovich Kuznetsov, a 30-year-old former Moscow car mechanic, was arrested for “distribution of thousands of sadistic child porn videos and pictures.” He had clients in America, Germany, UK, and Italy. Italian police seized 3,000 videos, costing an estimated $498 to $6,600 each. These included “Necros Pedo” where children were raped and tortured until they died. One email exchange between Kuznetsov and an Italian client, ‘Promise me you’re not ripping me off,’ says the Italian. ‘Relax, I can assure you this one really dies,’ the Russian responds. ‘The last time I paid and I didn’t get what I wanted.’ ‘What do you want?’ ‘To see them die.’
• Michael Wood, a 45 year old Missouri football coach, was arrested for the kidnapping and murder of 10 year old Hailey Owens. Woods had, literally, snatched Hailey Owens from the street as she was walking home from a friends’ house. Neighbors “watched in horror and unsuccessfully gave chase as Hailey was pulled into a pickup truck that quickly sped away.” Hailey’s body was found in Wood’s basement “stuffed into trash bags and plastic containers.” Child porn was found at Wood’s home by investigators. Woods had self-identified as a Christian coach.
So is there any good news? The one area of hope is the internet — the vehicle that has allowed child porn to expand beyond anything conceivable pre-internet — is also the same tool activists, the world over, are using to demand an end to impunity for child sex abuse.
Twitter, for example, has become a critical method for information sharing, allowing dedicated activists in Australia, the UK, Ireland, Holland, and America to connect. This global community know and support each other; sharing news articles, court transcripts, strategies for holding pedophiles legally accountable, and moral outrage for the global child porn crisis.
It is up to us to expose and demand an end to the wide-spread torture of our children. In order to do this we must start discussing this most painful of subjects.
As Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Dr. Lori Handrahan’s forthcoming book Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Risk details America’s child sex abuse epidemic. Her Ph.D. is from The London School of Economics. She can be reached on Twitter @LoriHandrahan2