19 in La. arrested for child exploitation
BATON ROUGE - Authorities arrested 19 men from across Louisiana as part of a recent statewide investigation into child sexual exploitation, according to the Louisiana Attorney General's Office.
AG Buddy Caldwell said 'Operation Broken Heart' was a months-long undercover investigation focusing on people engaged in creating, possessing, or distributing child porn, as well as those soliciting children online for sexual purposes.
"The results of this operation illustrate that kids don't have to venture out of their backyard any longer to encounter danger, it can find them right in their own home," asserts Caldwell. "Our affiliates are spread across the state with a common purpose - to keep our kids safe."
Local, state, and federal authorities filed charges against the suspects that included child porn, indecent behavior with a juvenile, unlawful use of social media, simple rape, and attempted simple kidnapping.
Caldwell said without proper supervision, children getting on the internet can easily be exposed to inappropriate material and messages, be exploited by sexual predators and even become victims to unscrupulous con artists. He said the danger could increase during the summer months, when children are at home more and often have less overall supervision than they do during school.
The AG's Office recommended parents establish ground rules with their kids for accessing the internet, keeping the following tips in mind.
* Place the computer in a central area of the house such as the family room, den or kitchen.
* Establish specific times when access to the Internet is permitted and keep that schedule.
* Limit the length of access time. This will encourage your child to go directly to the information required, rather than aimlessly wander or surf the Internet.
* Explain to your children that many sites on the Internet are not appropriate for children or young adults, and they are expected to stay away from them.
* Make it clear to your child that you are aware that there is inappropriate material on the Internet, and that looking at such material is forbidden.
* Explain that if a website's address has adult language in it, the site is not to be visited.
* If the child has access to a credit card, instruct the child never to give it out over the Internet.
* Instruct your child to talk to you if he or she ever finds anything on the Internet that makes them feel uncomfortable.
* Encourage communication with your children. Ask about their Internet experiences and what they have learned.
For more information about Internet safety, visit the Attorney General's website. To report suspected cases of Internet crime, call the attorney general's Cyber Crime Unit at 1-800-256-4506.