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April 10, 2006 -
Chief Investigator Paul Hamilton awarded Certificate of Achievement by NCMEC for "dedication to the welfare of children."

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Being informed is the most important tool that any person can equip themselves with when dealing with a particularly sensitive subject such as child abuse or exploitation. With the wealth of information that the Internet offers it can become a daunting task when attempting to assimilate the data into more legible categories. With that in mind, this page is designed to provide visitors with a more centralized database on various topics that revolve around child protection and information. As an evolving section of the CAU website this page will continue to grow as information becomes accessible and categories are added.

Suggestions for topics or additional information to the topics already presented are welcomed. The site’s primary purpose is, after all, to help educate and inform.

If you would like to see information added to this page or have a topic that you would like to see covered please send a message to Paul Hamilton via the CONTACT section of the CAU website or you can email me at phamilton@childabuseunit.com. (When sending in any data also include the information source as data will only be added that can be confirmed.)




CHAT ROOMS Data and graphical examples about chat rooms
INSTANT MESSAGING Data and graphical examples about Instant Messaging
EMAIL Data and graphical examples about email
NEWSGROUPS Data and graphical examples about newsgroups
BULLETIN BOARDS Data and graphical examples about bulletin boards
IRC Data and graphical examples about Internet Relay Chat
TERMINOLOGY A listing of terms and explanations
STATISTICS Statistical data about child exploitation and abuse
U.S. CODE U.S. Code concerning child exploitation and abuse
LEGISLATIVE ACTS Congressional Acts concerning child protective issues




PEDOPHILES


In the past, the mention of “child predator” evoked very limited characterizations of an individual. He was male, very cryptic, possibly a transient who was synonymous with a disheveled look lurking near playgrounds and schools. He was largely unattractive and a social outcast, not necessarily because of his appearance but his upbringing. Timid and passive he was like a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.

While there are many myths and controversies’ surrounding this type of deviant and the crimes he/she is prone to commit, one thing is relatively clear – only by understanding this type of behavior can any realistic notion of prevention or apprehension become affective.

Defined as “sexual perversion in which children are the preferred sexual object”, Pedophilia is regarded as an incurable condition. It has some aspects of an obsessive-compulsive condition similar to many serial criminals.

The predator can be anyone from any social standing in life. From the doctor, who we admired for his manner, to the race car driver, whose public persona was filled with the embraces of a multitude of female fans it become apparent that there is no “typical” profession with which to associate him to. He (or she) no longer hides on the boundaries of our school playgrounds but now exists within the confines of the Internet as well. Where he was once a transient he is now the vice president of a corporation. Where he was limited in choice as to where he “operated” he now resides in anonymity within a largely unregulated medium. The ultimate truth is that the idea of the predator no longer conforms to the description (in both personality and method) that he (or she) has been traditionally characterized by.

To begin to understand a predator it is important to understand the victimology.

They prey on children.

In the most common typology (the Burgess, Groth, and Holmstrom model), there are two (2) main types of pedophiles: the SITUATIONAL (who will stalk almost any vulnerable group) and the PREFERENTIAL (who desire children of a certain age range). It should be noted that while the situational pedophile prefers children it will select "alternative" victims under stressful situations.

Within the SITUATIONAL type, there are three (3) subtypes:

(1) the REGRESSED pedophile. This subtype leads the most stable life of the situational types. They prefer female victims, and enjoy seducing strangers. They are the only one of the situational types who use child pornography and may surf the Internet looking for victims. They tend to always keep a "stable" of potential victims in various stages of seduction.

(2) the INDISCRIMINATE pedophile. This subtype behaves like a wife-swapper, a charming, "cool" character who is willing to try anything, even incest, bestiality, you-name-it. This person waits a long time until they get to know you, and then they want to bring you into their "world". That world often consists of child pornography and helping them obtain child victims, or any other vulnerable group, but they will soon make it clear they prefer children and at a certain age. THE MAIN SOURCE OF NEW VICTIMS FOR PEDOPHILES IS A REFERRAL (SNOWBALL) FROM AN OLD VICTIM.

(3) the IMMATURE pedophile. This subtype, also known as the naive pedophile, will appear to be "mental" or quite strange. They tend to stalk around their own neighborhood, and will usually not travel great distances to get new victims. There are also times when they don't care what age their victim is. They tend to lead stressful lives.

Within the PREFERENTIAL type, there are two (2) subtypes:

(4) the SEDUCTIVE pedophile. This subtype, also known as the fixated type, will seduce or court their victims, often buying them gifts, flowers, toys, or loaning them money. As this person slowly becomes more intimate with the child, they begin to introduce sexual innuendo and eventually sexual pornography and paraphenalia. They operate on a referral network, and are very likely to surf the Internet looking for stimulation and potential victims, although, they almost always seem to have a "stable" of victims in various stages of seduction. They go wherever a good pool of potential victims can be found.

(5) the SADISTIC pedophile. This subtype, also called a mysoped, stalks, mutilates, and in some cases, kills and cannibalizes their victim. They usually will travel great geographic distances to stalk just the right victim, and have an elaborate, blitz attack or abduction ploy worked out to sidetrack the parents and authorities. This individual leads a rather transient existence, but is likely to have a fairly good-paying, white-collar job and a dependable car.

There is a sense of something inherently “evil” about their existence. They evoke a reaction of contempt that is beyond what society normally reserves for the criminal element. Already, to know that their target is a child means that they have accepted “who” or “what” they are and have dismissed any moral conflicts that would have otherwise prevented them from acting upon this compulsion. They do not care about the damage that will condemn their targets to – they’ve been able to dehumanize this aspect of their conscience. This can be called a form of cognitive distortion – denying what they are actually doing by using a rationalization that a child actually likes being abused. In essence, their path ignores the legacy that they will leave for future generations of people who cross their paths and the paths of their victims. They will largely be male (indeed the largest portion of reported cases will show that predators are male) but not exclusively so. It is from a sense of inadequacy that their targets are of such young age because it provides a thrill to have power over someone who can be, for all intensive purposes, easily dominated.

While it can be shown that this type of serial criminal was most likely raised in dysfunctional environment it does not mean that everyone raised in such a setting is doomed to be a criminal of any sort. We may not always be responsible for what we “are”, we are responsible for what we “do”.

What can be said about a predator is that there is a pattern in their exploitation. They will start with the fantasy and, for a time being, that will sustain them. But, like reading a book over and over, that too will begin to lose it sustenance. It is from this point that the danger becomes more apparent. They will progress to a stage where they begin to associate more with children (online or by other means) all the while keeping their motivation hidden. Eventually, even that will not suffice and they will act on their "need" to satisfy their increased desire. So as to not become graphic, the point is that their actions will follow an increasing, progressive manner.

They are very adept at using seductive techniques with regard to gaining the “trust” of a youth and creating a bond. Often, they will pay close attention to the behavioral aspects of a youth such as how they interact with others or signs of neglect. The pedophile will morph a personality that is agreeable with whatever the child lacks in their lives (attention, praise, support) or will bear similar likes and feelings about likes, dislikes or beliefs. The point of the matter is such that they will act almost chameleon in nature – adapting to whatever is needed for their intended target.

Their deviant acts will grow bolder as time passes.


Contributing Sources:
Dr. Thomas R. O'Connor, Department of Justice Studies & Applied Criminology, North Carolina Wesleyan College
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Megan's Law State-By-State Resources

Megan's Law
(As of October 21, 2004)

In May of 1996, the President signed the federal Megan's Law. Megan's Law amends the Wetterling Act to require states to release relevant information concerning registered child molesters and sexually violent offenders when necessary to protect the public.

The Guidelines make it clear that:
  • States must release information about registered sexoffenders to the public, not just to law enforcement agencies, other governmental or non-governmental organizations, prospective employers, or the victims of the offenders' crimes.
  • States can't release registration information on a purely discretionary basis. Information must be released to members of the public as necessary to protect the public from registered sex offenders.
  • "Community notification" programs must apply both to child molesters and other sexually violent offenders.
  • States may comply by adopting an "affirmative" approach to community notification (for example, by notifying neighbors about the presence of "high risk offenders") or by making sex offender registration information accessible to the public on request (for example, by making registration lists open for inspection by the public or by establishing call-in numbers through which the public can learn whether an individual is a registered sex offender).
  • The guidelines also note that states may impose the new registration requirements on offenders convicted prior to the establishment of their registration system. In addition, the guidelines note that offenses consisting of consensual acts between adults are not among the offenses for which registration is required under the Act.

Question and answer fact sheets for all 50 states and the District of Columbia on Megan's Law legislation requiring registration and notification of sex offenders. Fact sheets are in Adobe PDF format.

This information was compiled by the Legal Resources Division of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).

Be advised that manuals and legislative compilations serve as guides to and summaries of statutory interpretation and relevant state law; they are not, in any way, substitutes for individual research and preparation, nor do they in any way constitute legal advice.


NOTE: The documents provided in the links below are in "PDF" format so you will be required to view them using Adobe Acrobat. If you do not have it installed on your computer you may obtain it from the Adobe Systems website here:



Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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State-By-State Child Exploitation and Sexual Abuse Laws
(Credit: Ron Holmes, M.B.A, Director, TRACE Team, SafetyEd International)

Below you will find relavent laws for each individual state concerning child exploitation and sexual abuse. This listing is current as of October 2004.

NOTE: The documents provided in the links below are in "PDF" format so you will be required to view them using Adobe Acrobat. If you do not have it installed on your computer you may obtain it from the Adobe Systems website here:



Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
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A History of the Sex Offender Registry
(*Bureau of Justice Assistance)


1994

Federal Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994
is passed. The largest crime bill in the history of the country, it provided for an increased presence in police personnel, fund for both proactive and preventative programs, increased the penalties for certain criminal conditions, increased components for the various federal law enforcement agencies and established sexual offender registration. It contains The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act which sets minimum national standards for state sex offender registration and community notification programs, and directs the Attorney General to issue guidelines for such programs.The current Wetterling Act guidelines were published on January 5, 1999, in the Federal Register (64 FR 572, with corrections at 64 FR 3590). States that fail to comply with the Wetterling Act's requirements (as implemented and explained in the Attorney General's guidelines) are subject to a mandatory 10% reduction of the formula grant funding available under the Edward Byrne Memorial State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance Program (42 U.S.C. 3756), which is administered by the Bureau of Justice Assistance of the Department of Justice.

1996

Megans Law amends The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. Megan’s Law allows the States discretion to establish criteria for disclosure, but compels them to make private and personal information on registered sex offenders available to the public. The Guidelines make it clear that:
  • States must release information about registered sexoffenders to the public, not just to law enforcement agencies, other governmental or non-governmental organizations, prospective employers, or the victims of the offenders' crimes.
  • States can't release registration information on a purely discretionary basis. Information must be released to members of the public as necessary to protect the public from registered sex offenders.
  • "Community notification" programs must apply both to child molesters and other sexually violent offenders.
  • States may comply by adopting an "affirmative" approach to community notification (for example, by notifying neighbors about the presence of "high risk offenders") or by making sex offender registration information accessible to the public on request (for example, by making registration lists open for inspection by the public or by establishing call-in numbers through which the public can learn whether an individual is a registered sex offender).
  • The guidelines also note that states may impose the new registration requirements on offenders convicted prior to the establishment of their registration system. In addition, the guidelines note that offenses consisting of consensual acts between adults are not among the offenses for which registration is required under the Act.
The Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996 becomes an amendment to The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. It was designed to ensure the nationwide availability of sex offender registration information to law enforcement.This law requires states to transmit sex offender data and fingerprints to the FBI to establish a national database of released sex offenders to track their whereabouts and movement. This initiative will ensure that offenders will be tracked by state authorities and the FBI as they move from state to state. Provisions mandate persons convicted sexual offenses in states that do not have a "minimally sufficient" registration program to register with the FBI a current address, fingerprints, and current photograph. Additionally, the legislation amends The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act by changing the duration of state registration requirement from 10 years to 10 years or life for two categories of offenders: recidivists and aggravated offenders. It is established by 42 USC Sec. 14072 and 42 USC Sec. 14073.


1998

Provisions contained in Section 115 of the General Provisions of Title I of the Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (CJSA) amend the requirements of The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act to include heightened registration requirements for sexually violent offenders, registration of federal and military offenders, registration of nonresident workers and students, and participation in the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR).

2000

The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
amends The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act. It is a federal law enacted on October 28, 2000 that provides for the tracking of convicted, registered sex offenders enrolled as students at institutions of higher education, or working or volunteering on campus. It was sponsored by U.S. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona and supported by Security On Campus, Inc.

The Act amends the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act to require sex offenders already required to register in a State to provide notice, as required under State law, of each institution of higher education in that State at which the person is employed, carries on a vocation, or is a student. Requires that state procedures ensure that this registration information is promptly made available to law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction where the institutions of higher education are located and that it is entered into appropriate State records or data systems. These changes took effect October 28, 2002. These requirements are tied to state eligibility for certain types of federal grant funding and must be implemented through state law. It also amends the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to require institutions of higher education to issue a statement, in addition to other disclosures required under that Act, advising the campus community where law enforcement agency information provided by a State concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. These changes took effect October 28, 2002 and this notice will be a requirement beginning with the annual security report due October 1, 2003.

Lastly the Act amends the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to clarify that nothing in that Act may be construed to prohibit an educational institution from disclosing information provided to the institution concerning registered sex offenders; and requires the Secretary of Education to take appropriate steps to notify educational institutions that disclosure of this information is permitted. This amendment took effect on October 28, 2000.

This law was signed on October 28, 2000, and became effective on October 27, 2002.

The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act consists of three major components:
  1. Registered sex offenders are required to provide notice to the CDPS of each institution of higher education at which the offender is employed or is a student and of any change in such status.
  2. While institutions of higher education are not required to request information concerning registered sex offenders, they are required to inform the college community where criminal record information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained.
  3. If a student is a registered sex offender, information provided to an institution concerning this status is not subject to protection from disclosure under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.

2003

The Supreme Court ruled that sex offender registry information could be posted on the internet.

The Supreme Court heard the challenges to the state laws in separate cases on Nov. 13. In both challenges, lower courts had struck down the individual state laws as unconstitutional.

In each case, the state and the Bush administration asked the Supreme Court to overturn the lower court and uphold the sex offender registries as lawful regulation rather than unconstitutional punishment.

The issue in the Alaska case was whether sex offenders convicted before the state enacted its version of the law in 1994 were being punished unconstitutionally after the fact.

The Constitution bans "ex post facto" laws that are passed after a crime was committed but add punishment for the crime.

Speaking for a 6-3 majority Wednesday, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Alaska law passed constitutional muster. In order for it to unconstitutionally require retroactive punishment, Kennedy said, the law would have to be punitive. However, since the law is a non-punitive civil regulation, its retroactive application does not violate the ex post facto clause.
The Connecticut case had a much broader sweep. The issue in Connecticut was whether being included in a publicly accessed sex offender registry -- without a new hearing proving that the offender remains dangerous -- violates the Constitution's guarantee of "due process," or a fair and rational procedure.

In the prevailing opinion, Chief Justice William Rehnquist said the due process clause does not entitle a defendant to a hearing to prove a fact -- future dangerousness -- that is not required by the law.

In other words, prior sex offenders must register in Connecticut, regardless of whether they are a future danger to the community.

The court was unanimous in the judgment, though three filed concurring opinions.

In the Alaska case, two men identified as John Doe I and John Doe II pleaded no contest to charges of sexually abusing minors. Both were released from prison in 1990.

Alaska enacted the Sex Offender Registration Act, its version of Megan's law, in 1994. It requires those who were convicted of sex offenses after 1984 to register with the state, providing their names, addresses, employers and vehicles. They must also be fingerprinted and photographed by police. Like Connecticut, most of that information is then provided to the public on an Internet sex offender registry.

The Does filed suit, contending the law violates the Constitution because it punishes them for conduct that occurred before the law was passed. A federal judge disagreed, but a federal appeals panel reversed, saying the effects of the law were punitive.

Alaska then asked the Supreme Court for review. The justices reversed the lower court Wednesday. In the second case, Connecticut's version of the law requires the registration of anyone convicted of a crime in four categories: criminal offenses against a minor victim; non-violent sexual offenses; violent sexual offenses, and felonies committed for a sexual purpose.

Persons convicted of violent sexual offenses are registered for life; the rest are registered for 10 years. Everyone who must be registered is required to provide the state Department of Public Safety with his or her name, fingerprints and other identifying factors, a photograph, criminal history record, address and a blood sample for DNA purposes.

Convicted violent sexual offenders also must supply information on any mental health treatment, and verify an address every 90 days.

All those being registered have to notify the state of a new address within five days. They must also tell the registering agency when they temporarily reside in another state, and must submit to having a new photograph taken any time the state requests it.

The state Department of Public Safety makes the registry available to the public, primarily through its "Sex Offender Registry" on the Internet. The registry can be reached through the Web pages of several television stations as well as the state's Web page at state.ct.us.

The database is searchable through the use of zip codes so members of the public can find out which convicted sex offenders are living in their neighborhoods.

Sometime before May 1999, the state added a statement to the registry that said the DPS has "not considered or assessed the specific risk of reoffense ... and has made no determination that any individual included in the registry is currently dangerous."

One registry enrollee, identified in the case only as John Doe, challenged the law in February 1999, saying it violated the "due process" guarantee of the 14th Amendment because it deprives him of a "liberty interest" -- his reputation and status under state law -- without a meaningful hearing.

When a federal appeals court eventually ruled in his favor, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal asked the Supreme Court for review of the Doe case, which has been combined with a similar case filed by "Samuel Poe." The Supreme Court reversed the lower court in the Connecticut case.

(Nos. 01-729, Smith and Botelho vs. John Doe I et al; and 01-1231, Conn. DPS et al vs. John Doe et al)


The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act

BACKGROUND


Jacob Wetterling
In 1989, Jacob Wetterling, 11, his brother Trevor, 10, and a friend, Aaron, 11, were riding their bikes while returning home from a convenience store in St. Joseph, Minnesota. A masked man came out of a driveway and ordered the boys to throw their bikes into a ditch, turn off their flashlights, and lie face down on the ground. The gunman asked each of the boys his age. They responded. He told Trevor to run into the woods and not to look back, or he would shoot him. Next, the gunman turned Aaron over, looked at his face, and told him to run into the woods. As Trevor and Aaron ran away, they glanced back to see the gunman grab Jacob's arm. When Aaron and Trevor reached the wooded area, they turned to find that Jacob and the gunman were gone. Jacob has never been found. On October 22, 1989, friends and strangers rallied to the family's aid and worked 24 hours each day to search the area and distribute flyers across the country. Investigators later learned that, unknown to local law enforcement, halfway houses in St. Joseph housed sex offenders after their release from prison. Jacob's mother, Patty, became an advocate for missing children and was appointed to a Governor's Task Force that recommended stronger sex offender registration requirements in Minnesota. Later, the U.S. Congress passed The Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act in Jacob's honor.


Megan's Law

BACKGROUND


Megan Kanka
In July 1994, 7-year-old Megan Kanka accepted an invitation from a neighbor in Hamilton Township, New Jersey, to see his new puppy. The neighbor, Jesse Timmendequas, was a twice-convicted pedophile. He raped her, murdered her, and dumped her body in a nearby park. Megan's parents said that they never would have allowed her to travel the neighborhood freely if they had known that a convicted sex offender was living across the street. Megan's Law later became part of the act in an effort to provide community notification. The local police department was not allowed to release sex-offender information to the community, but Megan's case caused a public outcry. On May 8, 1996, President Clinton signed a federal law allowing public access to information about high-risk offenders.


Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996

BACKGROUND

Pam Lychner

Houston real estate agent Pam Lychner prepared to show a vacant home to a prospective buyer. Awaiting her at the house was a twice-convicted felon who brutally assaulted her. Her husband arrived and saved her life. She then formed "Justice for All," a victims rights advocacy group that lobbies for tougher sentences for violent criminals. U.S. Senators Gramm and Biden credited Lychner with helping craft the language of a bill that established a national database to track sex offenders. Lychner and her two daughters were killed in the explosion of TWA Flight 800 off the coast of Long Island in July 1996. Later that year, Congress passed the Pam Lychner Sexual Offender Tracking and Identification Act of 1996 in her memory.

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