Internet Crimes Against Children
In 1998, the Portsmouth, NH and Keene, NH Police Departments along with the Education Development Center, Inc. of Newton, Massachusetts, were awarded a $300,000 Justice Department grant to combat Internet child sexual exploitation. This grant was awarded by the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) under its Internet Crimes Against Children program. The grant was used for undercover operations, the education of law enforcement officers and in the development of prevention materials. The service area for the grant covered the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
The goal of this project was to create a Regional Task Force on Internet Crimes Against Children serving the three rural northern New England states: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Through this Task Force we identified and supported sources of technological and investigative expertise as well as forensic resources to enhance proactive and reactive investigations of Internet crimes against children across the northern New England region.
January 13th, 2000 marked the end of our full-time three-year Internet law enforcement project which we had started in 1997. It also marked the end of the Justice Department grant. Currently we maintain a part-time undercover operation through the City of Keene, NH. Through this undercover operation over 700 offenders from 48 different states and 13 foreign countries have been arrested and over 2,000,000 child pornographic images seized.
One of our goals is to collect descriptive characteristics of those offenders who have committed sexual exploitation crimes with a computer. Our Offender Profile contains much of our data. This includes occupations of offenders and previous involvement with children. We have also included the state or country the offender resides or resided in. Part of our data collection included the ages of suspects. We have had suspects as young as thirteen and as old as seventy-six.
Tanner staging, which was designed for estimating development or physiologic age for medical, educational, and sports purposes (in other words, identifying early and late maturing children), has been misused in the courts when it is used not to stage maturation, but to estimate probable chronological age. For a better understanding of the Misuse of the Tanner Scale, you may wish to read the communication between Detective McLaughlin of the Keene Police Department and Dr. Arlan Rosenbloom; Department of Pediatrics at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Detective Lieutenant McLaughlin's advice for parents.
Detective Lieutenant McLaughlin's MySpace.com article
13-year-old Ryan Halligan committed suicide in Essex, Vermont in part as a result of online bullying from fellow students at his school. His parents have set up a web site as a resource to parents and kids regarding this new threat to youth. To learn more about Ryan or his father’s efforts to address the problems of bullying in schools, harassment and inappropriate computer use, visit www.ryanpatrickhalligan.com. For more information about teenage suicide and depression, or to obtain counseling for adolescents and pre-adolescents who may be in crisis and considering suicide or other family emergencies, contact: First Call at 864-7777. Another number to call for suicide prevention is SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) at 1-888-511-SAVE or http://www.save.org
New Hampshire Department of Safety
Division of State Police Registered Offenders Against Children
Pursuant to NH RSA 651-B:7, IV, the Division of State Police is required to identify and maintain a record of parties to whom the list of Registered Offenders Against Children has been disclosed.
For your convenience the Federal Decency Act, Federal Sexual Exploitation laws, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine statutes on Child Pornography/exploitation have been included here.
- multiple punishments for the same offense under the Double Jeopardy Clause.
- The defendant’s actions of accessing a website on the internet to show his daughter a pornographic video on his computer, and digitally penetrating her vagina while she was watching the video, clearly fall within the scope of RSA 649-B:4’s prohibition of “utiliz[ing] a computer on-line service, [or] Internet service . . . to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice, a child.”
- 404-B argument over introduction of uncharged images to dispel accident or mistake defense.
- Sufficiency of the evidence that he knowingly possessed child pornography.
- Jurisdiction for RSA 649-B:4 is determined by what is in the mind of the accused. Failed protective speech challenge to RSA 649-B:4.
- On appeal, the defendant argues that the State presented insufficient evidence that: (1) the images were of real minor children; and (2) that he knowingly possessed child pornography.
- Double jeopardy argument for being sentenced for possessing child images in two counties in differ electronic form.
- Virtual Child Pornography
- child pornography as defined by statute.
- proving the age of the child in each photograph.
- consolidation of the child pornography charges with an attempted felonious sexual assault charge.
- Search warrant executed outside the presence of a police officer (Yahoo.Com).
- sufficiency of evidence.
- jury instructions.
- Upward departure: Sentencing
- not giving any jury instruction on the question of entrapment.
- statute punishes conduct, not "mere thoughts".
- legal standards for evaluating whether a photograph displays sexually explicit conduct.
- predisposed independent of Government acts.
- constitutionality of the Child Pornography Prevention Act.
- rights under the Due Process Clause/did not have fair notice that possession of pornographic materials had become illegal.
- that § 2252(a)(4)(B) exceeds Congress's authority under the Commerce Clause.
- videotapes that focus on the genitalia and pubic area of minor females constitute a "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area" under the federal child pornography laws (even though these body parts are covered by clothing).
- Not objectively reasonable for a detective to have concluded that evidence of an assault -- the stated object of the consent search -- would be found in a computer.
- Under the totality of the circumstances, the police did not have well-founded suspicion to stop and detain Travers. The officers could have engaged in a consensual encounter, but chose otherwise.
- The seizure of unlawful images is within the plain language of the warrant; their recovery, after attempted destruction, is no different than decoding a coded message lawfully seized or pasting together scraps of a torn-up ransom note.
- The States are entitled to greater leeway in the regulation of pornographic depiction's of children for the following reasons: (1) use of children as subjects of pornographic materials is harmful to the physiological, emotional, and mental health of the child (2) the standard of Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 , for determining what is legally obscene is not a satisfactory solution to the child pornography problem; (3) the advertising and selling of child pornography provide an economic motive for, and are thus an integral part of, the production of such materials, an activity illegal throughout the Nation; (4) the value of permitting live performances and photographic reproductions of children engaged in lewd exhibitions is exceedingly modest, if not de minimis; and (5) recognizing and classifying child pornography as a category of material outside the First Amendment's protection is not incompatible with this Court's decisions dealing with what speech is unprotected.
- Respondents also argued below that their indictment was fatally defective because it did not contain a scienter requirement on the age of minority. The Court of Appeals did not reach this issue because of its determination that §2252 was unconstitutional on its face, and we decline to decide it here.
- Black argues that his prosecution under 18 U.S.C. sec 2252 is unconstitutional under the Eighth Amendment because he is a pedophile or ephebophile.
- Byrd argues that Jacobson requires the government to prove predisposition only by evidence that existed before the government began its solicitation. This argument misstates the Jacobson holding (predisposition must be independent of government action).
- Prompt response to each government mailing illustrates his predisposition.
- Challenged record keeping and labeling provisions require anyone publishing to maintain identification records and label the publication as to the location of those records
- Qualified Immunity
- Non-government search followed by Government search "independent source" doctrine (distinct, untainted source).
- Evidence was discovered by private search \
- Whether the age of a model in a child pornography prosecution can be determined by a lay jury without the assistance of expert testimony.
- Executing officer would reasonably know what items are to be seized
- Seizure of all video and audio tapes was necessary because the titles of such tapes were not dispositive of their content and that the absence or presence of child pornography in such items could not be determined by a cursory examination on the premises.
- Consent search for child pornography
- Probable cause for arrest for child pornography
- Consent search for child pornography
- General knowledge that the material is sexually oriented.
- Possession may be actual or constructive.
- Possession is a continuing offense.
- Knowing possession of illegal material is not a passive crime.
- Propriety of venue: the site of the defendant's acts, the elements and nature of the crime, the locus of the effect of the criminal conduct, and the suitability of each district for accurate fact finding...
- Testimony regarding the meaning of a screen name registered to on-line accounts.
- Exigent circumstances during controlled delivery of child pornography
- Defendant argues that the evidence was insufficient to prove that Defendant knew, prior to receiving the visual depictions, that the images depicted minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
- Anticipatory warrants based on delivery of contraband.
- Probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant.
- Other bad acts.
- We hold that a depiction of a minor need not be obscene to satisfy the definition of "sexually explicit conduct" under the "lascivious exhibition of the genitals or public area" prong.
- The search warrant triggering event for its execution is necessary.
- Staleness/Probable cause.
- Sting operation known as Project Looking Glass did not constitute outrageous government conduct.
- Anticipatory search warrants
- In this case, the "expert" testimony in the affidavit was foundationless. It consisted of rambling boilerplate recitations designed to meet all law enforcement needs.
- The sufficiency of the foundation for admission into evidence of chat room log printouts.
- Recording chats/emails and factial impossibitity
- Depictions of real children?
- Staleness of information discussed
- Definition of "distribution" and no need for pecuniary gain.
(1st Cir. 2008) Non-expert trier of fact regarding real v. virtual children in child pornography
- (2008) New Hampshire Entrapment Defense
Please note that we do not accept reports of crimes via e-mail.
Links for Law Enforcement: