Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

   

Attorney General's Child Predator Unit 

In 1995 the Attorney General's Child Sexual Exploitation Task Force was created to arrest child pornographers as well as investigate and capture child predators before they strike by using proactive, undercover operations.

In order for law enforcement to stay one step ahead of the Internet and sexual predators the Office widened the scope of the Attorney General's task force into a larger, broader statewide Child Predator Unit. In January 2005, a dedicated Child Predator Unit was created using a group of specially trained agents and prosecutors across Pennsylvania to identify and capture online predators before they can harm children.

The growth of the Internet has been astronomical, and regrettably, predators are using the Internet as their primary means of contacting and communicating with their young victims.

As the Internet grows, the problem of sexual predators has increased tremendously.

The following are statistics on the growing problem:

  • The Internet Filter Review, an online publication that is dedicated to protecting children from pornography on the Internet, has estimated that there are 100,000 web sites offering illegal child pornography. They also report that the average age of exposure to Internet pornography is 11-years-old.
  • The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reports that one in five girls and one in ten boys are sexually exploited before they reach adulthood.
  • One in five children, ages 10 to 17, received unwanted sexual solicitations online, according to the Youth Internet Safety Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In addition to investigating and prosecuting the cases, the agents and attorneys have created a training program and teach young people and their parents, how to avoid being a victim of a sexual predator.  Educating parents and young people about the dangers of sexual predators is extremely important. The training program has the agents, who catch the predators, in classrooms and churches teaching and warning parents and young people about these predators and the tactics they use.

Anyone who has information about child predators is urged to contact the Attorney General's Child Predator Unit at 1-800-385-1044.