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lunedì 10 luglio 2017
17 arrested by internet child abuse task force
GREENVILLE Co., S.C. (WSPA) – The Greenville Co. Sheriff’s Office and other agencies announced the results of a months-long operation aimed to stop internet crimes against children.
Sheriff WIll Lewis announced Monday that 17 people have been arrested and charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.
“These are people who you encounter on a daily basis, who have such a sick and twisted mind, that they choose to victimize children,” Sheriff Lewis says.
While the sheriff’s office had a task force in place to investigate crimes against children, Greenville County Sheriff Will Lewis increased resources soon after taking office.
The sheriff’s office had a task force in place, but there weren’t staff dedicated to Internet crimes.
A new team of five investigators has been working to clear a back log of cases. Investigators like Master Deputy Michael Rainey have spent thousands of hours working on these investigations.
“We have to examine people’s computers and devices for images and photographs, and try to find the stuff nobody wants to see,” Rainey says.
Sheriff Lewis says he expects about a third of these cases to go to Federal court. He says that decision is based on the amount of downloads, the content of those pictures and videos, and if any of these men are repeat offenders.
The Julie Valentine Center is also working directly with the sheriff’s office to assist with investigations and help victims.
Shauna Galloway-Williams, executive director of the Julie Valentine Center, says each arrest by the task force impacts the entire community.
“Most of those offenders didn’t just have one victim, they likely had multiple victims. There probably wasn’t just one image or one child, there were multiple times and so to think about the exponential harm that could’ve been caused and the benefit that is now brought to the community when those individuals are stopped from doing what they’re doing, you can easily see how incredibly important this task force is to our community,” Galloway-Williams said.