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Internet Safety

Chat Nightmares of 2005 - Parents Beware of Internet Predators

Another year over and the chat nightmares were quite prevalent in the news stories again. It seems they are never-ending and will continue to be unless parents teach children not too give out too much information in chat rooms. Of course, they don't listen anyway and I'll be sitting here next year writing about the same horror stories as I am right now. I just hope I'm not writing about your child. Parents need to monitor their children on the computer on a daily basis or read about them in a news story.
The following stories are true news stories with links to the original stories here. If you don't think you need to monitor your children or your spouse on the computer, read on, one of these stories will likely change your mind.

Let's start with January of 2005 and see what some of the headlines were about:

Ottawa County man indicted in sex case involving boy, 13

An Ottawa County man is accused of having sex with a 13-year-old boy. Where do you think the man met the 13 year old boy? The boy told authorities he met him in November through an Internet chat room. This story was published on January 15 and they first started chatting in November. That's two whole months of chatting that somebody should have known about. This one could have been stopped with a monitoring program.

Missing girl found in Ohio

Man allegedly met Sacramento teen on Web
She was lured to the home of a 39-year-old man through an Internet chat room, authorities said. The Internet is the wild, wild West of today," Fong said. "It opens kids up to all kinds of people feeding on them."
The targets are frequently girls age 13 to 15. Predators meet them in Internet chat rooms and "groom" them through "electronic flirting," Fong said.
In the case of the 15-year-old from Sacramento, authorities believe she had been chatting on the Internet for "quite some time" with several individuals.
Authorities said she was chatting for quite some time… interesting.

A CHILDREN'S charity last night criticized the "lenient" two year sentence given to a man who admitted having "cybersex" with a 14-year-old girl over the internet.

This is a story just to show you the kinds of things that go on in chat rooms.
"He got in touch with the girl, of Clackmannanshire, through an internet chat room after filling in an online profile in which he declared himself to be 19. He performed a sex act on himself as he watched the girl undress and pose in a sexually explicit manner via a live web link."

Enough said for January - Let's see what February 2005 brings us.

Policeman on underage sex charges

A VICTORIAN police officer started a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl after they met on an internet chat site, a Melbourne court was told today. The alleged victim told the court she first met Constable Howard on an internet chat site where they had conversations up to four times a week which were often of a sexual nature.
She was chatting four times a week on a sexual nature with a police officer - What a nightmare.

Man Accused Of Luring Girl From Internet Chat Room
Alleged victim was sexually assaulted. Salem man is accused of using a computer chat room to commit sexual assault.
Police say the 23-year-old Hawkins contacted a teenaged girl in a Yahoo chat room, lured her to his southeast Salem apartment and sexually assaulted her.

Man Charged With Having Sex With Girl He Met Online

Two Meet In Hotel Room Hours After Meeting On Internet
Authorities said the 14-year-old girl took a cab from Gilmanton to Nashua to meet with the man. The two allegedly rendezvoused at a Motel 6 a few hours after meeting online in a chat room dedicated to sexual talk and behavior.
Police said parents need to know where their children are and who they are talking to online.
"This type of activity is becoming more frequent," Sprankle said. "The pedophiles that are looking to do this type of conduct use the Internet."
Sometimes it takes months, sometimes only hours for contact - but it happens. Don't let it happen to your kid.

Let's take a look at some news headlines for March 2005

Man charged with inducing 14-year-old boy to have sex - Youngstown State student met youth in Internet chat room

The man used the Internet to arrange sexual encounters twice last year with the boy, who is now 15, according to the FBI and Beaver County detectives.
According to an FBI affidavit, the man and the boy met in a homosexual chat room in June and arranged a meeting. They didn't have sex that time, according to the boy, but they did in September after Murdoch picked him up at his home. The victim said they had sex again after another online chat in July.
Again, they first started chatting in June and ended in September. That's a long time in between for nobody to notice anything going on.

Man Faces Sexual Assault Charges In Douglas, Sarpy Counties

Omaha prosecutors said they are charging a man after he used instant messaging and an Internet chat room to meet young boys. He is being charged in Douglas County with sexual assault. He also has sexual assault charges pending in Sarpy County and is on probation for an incident with a 9- and 11-year-old. He met both boys on the Internet, and then arranged to meet them in person.
Again, they met on the Net, but the prosecutors said this relationship was sexual, and went on for months. They said Payne also had sexual pictures of himself and the boy on his computer.

No much more I can say about March, but take a look at April 2005.

Lakewood man pleads guilty in Internet sex case

Lakewood man pleads guilty in Internet sex case - He was arrested by Eureka Springs, Ark., police, county deputies and federal agents on Dec. 3, 2004, at a Eureka Springs motel. He was there to meet a 14-year-old girl he met in an Internet chat room.
His arrest followed a nearly four-month, online relationship between the two.

Missing girl found in hotel with man - New Jersey man allegedly had sex with seventh-grader he met on Internet

She left home carrying a teddy bear, he was waiting nearby with promises of dinner and shopping trips. The two were later found in a Clinton Township hotel after having sex, police said. "Here's a good example of why parents have to be aware of what their kids are doing when they're surfing the Internet," said Clinton Township Detective Capt. Doug Mills.
I think Captain Doug Mills says it all.

On to May 2005

Cops say man lured girl from Kentucky for sex

Police yesterday arrested a 71-year-old man they say used an Internet chat room to meet a 15-year-old Kentucky girl, lure her to his home and then have sex with her.
Did you read that part about man being 71-years old? A 71-year old posing as a teenager in a chat room. Hard to believe but true just the same. You never know who your kids are chatting with. Do you want to know yet?

Pervert posed as 18-year-old in chat room to groom young girl

INTERNET pervert Oliver Jordan tried to snare a 12-year-old girl by posing as a teen in a web chat room.

Beware the stranger in your house

Det. Sgt Darryl Preston, who led the investigation into the previous case, said: "The main piece of advice I would give to parents goes back to what we were told when we were young about stranger danger - only now the stranger is in your living room.
"Parents need to be aware of who their children are talking to; it's about keeping tabs and being interested in your child's activities.
"Chat rooms alone are not the danger. The grooming process extends beyond the internet to other forms of contact as the offender tries to lure a child to a meeting. Most of the time there will be personal correspondence, emails, letters, and sending money or presents - the online chat room is often just a starting point.
Well said, Det Preston.

June 2005 was a busy month for the predators so here are just a few of the headlines.

Teen Vanishes After Going To Meet A Friend

A local teenager left her home in Thurston County for school, and never came back.
Now, her father is sharing his agonizing story. The one clue Heather's father did find was on the family computer. He now knows (he could have found out sooner) Heather had been visiting a dating website where she put her picture online.
Do you know if your child's picture is online somewhere?

Man Accused of Enticing Children Over the Internet

For today's youth, the internet is a gold mine of information and entertainment. Especially internet chat rooms. But it's these same chat rooms where child predators have an open window to entice kids.
That's what police say this man was trying to do.

Child predator uses chat room to lure teenager

Harris County Sheriff's officials said a 14-year-old girl was sexually assaulted during a face-to-face meeting with a man she met in an Internet chat room. Sheriff's officials said the case should serve as a warning to parents who allow their children to use the Internet unmonitored. Enough said!


Take a look at some of the July 2005 stories.

Man accused of sexual contact with boy from chat room

A Sheffield Township man who has been classified as a sexual predator is facing charges of having sexual contact with a 15-year-old boy he met in an Internet chat room, according to Lorain County records. The man allegedly met a 15-year-old boy in a chat room online and had sexual relations with him at his home between June and September 2004.
I'll bet they were chatting between June and September….Ahem

Murray Bridge CIB arrest man for new internet offence

It is alleged the man contacted a 15-year-old girl through an internet chat room, and lured the child to his home. The 48-year-old man was arrested on July 11. Sergeant Ferris said it was an important reminder for parents to be vigilant when it came to the use of internet chat rooms by their children.
"What seems like an innocent chat with someone of apparently the same age, can in fact be anyone of any age," Sgt Ferris said.
"It can be a fine line between invading your child's privacy and monitoring their chat room conversations for their safety.
I couldn't have said it better myself Sgt Ferris.

Man Accused Of Luring 14-Year-Old Girl Into Sex

A Pennsylvania man is accused of using the Internet to lure a Missouri teenager into having sex with him. Prosecutors said the 36-year-old spent 18 months seducing a 14-year-old girl from Nodaway.
18 Months! They are a patient people.

August 2005 was an extremely busy month for Internet predators - they know that schools out.

Forsyth homemaker charged with molesting 14-year-old

Authorities: 42-year-old woman met boy online, then seduced him
A 42-year-old Forsyth County housewife faces sex charges after authorities say she seduced a 14-year-old boy over the Internet and then met him for several sexual liaisons. "For two weeks to a month, they chatted online," Moore said. "During that time, he believed that she was 14 years old." - They chatted for two weeks to a month!

Predators Lurking Inside Your Home?

If you're in your room feeling happy that your children are home and safe, think again. You're probably not aware that a sexual predator might be luring them at this very moment on the Internet with something seemingly innocent. "Parents don't allow children to lock their bedroom door, but they allow them to have secret passwords and have online friends that they don't know," Many predators approach children through online chat rooms, where they can pretend they're caring friends or paternal figures.
That is exactly what they do and most parents don't even know but they can find out.

Police: Accused rapist might have more victims

An accused rapist is charged with raping a 15-year-old girl from St. Peters on Sunday, and he is accused of trapping a 16-year-old Lebanon girl and her friend in his garage earlier this year. He met the girls through online chat rooms. "I have a feeling we're going to find more victims," Hertz said. "I hope we don't, but something tells me we are."

Here are a couple headlines from September 2005.

Teen Murdered; Father Blames Chat Line

A South Side teenaged boy's body was found Aug. 18 in Diversey Harbor-and the father believes that a chat line was ultimately to blame, the Chicago Tribune reported. The teen's family last saw him on Aug. 17. He had called his grandmother about 9 p.m. that day to say he would return soon from seeing some friends, even though his father said his son knew few people in the area…..Think about that one

Cult Leader's son charged with rape

The son of an infamous cult leader was arrested in Oregon this week on charges he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl at a Danvers hotel. Police say the 30-year-old met the girl in an Internet chat room and lured her to the hotel last week. The girl told police that he had flown into Providence and picked her up in Braintree.

More headlines in October 2005

Abuser Groomed Boy Over Internet

A SEX beast who groomed a 14-year-old boy over the internet then abused him on "countless occasions" was facing a lengthy jail sentence last night.
The man, 21, admitted having unsafe sex with the vulnerable youngster on an Ayrshire beach, in a hotel, in a house and in a car. Janice Green, prosecuting, said: "They met in an internet chat room in October 2004…..
This story headlined in October of 2005! That is a whole year of chat room grooming - amazing that nobody knew. Somebody could have found out though.

Man, 29, admits to luring girl, 13, for sex

A 29-year-old California man admitted Tuesday he persuaded a 13-year-old Zachary girl to lie to her parents, run away with him and have illegal sex "because their age difference should not matter." During Tuesday's hearing, Vasquez admitted he met the child in an Internet chat room in December. The two began chatting "for hours each day."
Chatting from December to October - "for hours each day"

There were many more headlines in November 2005

Minister Accused Of Trying To Meet Teen For Sex

An Ohio minister was arrested this week on suspicion of trying to lure a 15-year-old girl into having sex. Over a five-day period, police said, the 55-year-old allegedly spent time in an Internet chat room. Investigators said, at one point, he solicited the teen for sex and arranged to meet.

When children go out to play all alone on e-street

Too many parents haven't a clue what their kids are doing as they use the Internet, experts warn, and that means they're being exposed to dangers ranging from sexual predators to cyberbullying.
The phone rings and it's the dreaded call from your child's school. Only this time, your daughter hasn't vomited, cheated on a test or talked back to the teacher. She e-mailed a naked picture of herself to a boy and it's now been seen by most of the school and, perhaps, beyond.
Welcome to the age of parenting in a digital world. If I was her parent, I would want to know about that picture before the rest of the world seen it. There are programs available with the ability to stop this sort of thing.

December 2005 - supposed to be such a festive month…

Sex offender arrested

Many think chat rooms are harmless, but for one young teenager, her on-line messaging led to a dangerous encounter.
A convicted sex offender goes online and meets a young, local girl. Now the man in his 30's is facing charges of rape. The rendezvous happened in New Bedford . But they "met" in cyberspace where police say the convicted sex offender was able to lure the teen away from her home.
It was in an Internet chat room where they met at the beginning of November. New Bedford Police Investigators tell Eyewitness News the 31-year-old raped a thirteen year old girl this past weekend. When the 13-year-old returned home, the mother noticed something was different about her and then the girl told her what happened.
Too bad the mother didn't know who she was chatting with for over a month.

Web-chat link in Girl's disappearance

THE distraught parents of a teenage girl missing for three days believe she is with someone she met on an Internet chat site. They have since been shocked to find an email contact list of more than 400 names and copies of emails their daughter had been sending and receiving over a general Internet chat site.
A shame that wasn't found out sooner…
She said her daughter, who had previously appeared happy, recently became secretive and deceptive.
"Ever since she's had that (chat site) she's changed her personality," The mother said.
"It's as if she's been brainwashed into something."
Those are the signs of someone hooked on chat.

The headlines and stories are real news stories that happened in 2005. You can find all of the headlines and links to the original stories here. Some of the links may be dead links due to the fact that the Internet news sites don't keep the stories up indefinitely.

You can find out more about computer monitoring programs here. Don't let your child become a news story.

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