Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lucas Warriors raise awareness for missing 5-year-old Lucas Hernandez

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) A group who calls themselves the Lucas Warriors gathered outside Intrust Bank Arena today and it wasn't to watch basketball.

The Lucas Warriors is a group here in Kansas who hopes to find Lucas Hernandez.

On Saturday, members stood outside Intrust Bank Arena with signs in hand in hopes of bringing Lucas home.

The Lucas Warriors talked to both Kansans and out of state fans about Lucas Hernandez and spreading the word about his disappearance.

"I love to tell his story. I think he's such a precious little boy. I think everybody just needs to know his story," says Julie LaForce.

Even if for some it wasn't easy.

"I know myself personally, I'm extremely quiet and kind of shy, so to be out here in the middle of thousands of people is a hard thing for me to do. But at this point, I would do anything to bring Lucas home," says Sheila Medlam.

The group say they have received training from Texas Equusearch to help find Lucas. They also say they're working with Lucas' dad Jonathan and his family to get help from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

As fans asked them "Who's Lucas?" the warrior group was glad they could bring awareness to his disappearance.

"What brings a better crowd than college basketball? Especially since we have Kansas, KU playing here. He needs to go national. He can't be forgotten. I'm not going to let him slip through the cracks. None of us are."

Original Article

Trinity Mount Ministries

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Five defendants convicted of child sex trafficking

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Oklahoma

Five Who Purchased and Sold Children for Sex in Oklahoma City Ordered to Serve Combined 38 Years in Prison and Pay Over $635,000 in Restitution to Victims

OKLAHOMA CITY – Five defendants convicted of child sex trafficking were ordered to serve a combined 38 years in federal prison and pay over $635,000 in restitution to victims, announced Robert J. Troester, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma.

According to court records, in October 2014, Maurice M. Johnson engaged in sex trafficking of two girls (aged 14 and 15) and an adult female.  As soon as the 14-year-old girl was recruited, Johnson instructed her to start calling phone numbers from the escort section of the Yellow Pages to find Tonya Gay Gum, whom he knew as "Carmen."  At the time, Gum operated at least twenty phone numbers listed in the escort section of the Oklahoma City Yellow Pages.  The 14-year-old victim made contact with Gum and sent her photographs of herself and the adult female.  After that, Gum began arranging commercial sex transactions between her established customer base (or new customers who called her phone lines) and the females under Johnson’s control.  Johnson drove the girls to hotels, residences, and commercial spaces, where the customers paid in cash for sex.  After each commercial sex transaction, Gum met the girls at different locations in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area to receive the proceeds, which Gum and Johnson split.  They did not give any money to the victims they trafficked.

A federal grand jury indicted Johnson on December 3, 2014.  He pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking on January 30, 2015, before U.S. District Judge Robin J. Cauthron.  In August 2017, he was sentenced to 240 months in prison and five years of supervised release.

Gum and three customers who purchased sex with the children were indicted by a federal grand jury on June 16, 2015.  On  November 19, 2015, Gum pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking, also before Judge Cauthron.  In August 2017, she was sentenced to 48 months in federal prison and three years of supervised release.

The three customers—William M. Baker, Trung N. Duong, and Curtis A. Anthony—purchased sex with the children in October 2014.  Before their convictions, their cases went before the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held in February 2017 that they could be convicted of child sex trafficking even if they did not know or recklessly disregard a child victim’s age, so long as they had a "reasonable opportunity to view" the child victim.

On May 9, 2017, Duong pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking.  On November 2, 2017, Baker also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking.  In August 2017, Judge Cauthron sentenced each of them to 24 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

Anthony went to trial and was convicted by a federal jury on June 19, 2017, of both conspiracy to commit child sex trafficking and child sex trafficking.  He was sentenced in October 2017 to 120 months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release.

All of these defendants will be required to register as sex offenders for 25 years after released from custody.

At the time of the sentencings, the court deferred a determination of restitution.  Today Judge Cauthron amended the judgments and ordered all five defendants to pay $635,247 in restitution to victims, with each defendant jointly and severally liable for the full amount immediately.  "Although the innocence of these children cannot be restored, we are pleased that the Court is holding the defendants responsible for paying for the future care and treatment caused by their crimes," said Acting U.S. Attorney Troester.

This case is the result of an investigation by United States Department of Homeland Security and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys McKenzie Anderson and David Petermann prosecuted the case.

Department Of Justice

Trinity Mount Ministries

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

YouTube to boost moderator team preventing child exploitation videos

By Ben Lovejoy

Following reports of sexualised videos of children attracting hundreds of comments from suspected pedophiles, YouTube has announced that it will be boosting its content moderator team to 10,000 people – but only by the end of 2018. The current team is reported to be around 8,000 people.

A Times investigation first uncovered the scale of the problem eleven days ago, with volunteer flaggers claiming that YouTube wasn’t taking the problem seriously …

YouTube, part of one of the most valuable enterprises in the world, gave them no help, according to one of the flaggers who spoke to The Times anonymously.

YouTube’s initial response was to acknowledge that it needed to do more to tackle the problem through both machine-learning and additional human resources.

A few days later, the company said that it had removed 150,000 videos, turned off comments on 625,000 more and terminated 270 accounts.

In a new blog post last night, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced the additional measures the company would be taking.

We will continue the significant growth of our teams into next year, with the goal of bringing the total number of people across Google working to address content that might violate our policies to over 10,000 in 2018.

At the same time, we are expanding the network of academics, industry groups and subject matter experts who we can learn from and support to help us better understand emerging issues.

We will use our cutting-edge machine learning more widely to allow us to quickly and efficiently remove content that violates our guidelines.

Wojcicki said that machine-learning had already shown ‘tremendous progress’ in tackling extremist content, and that the company had begun training AI systems to detect videos that may impact child safety, though Buzzfeed notes that the challenge here may be greater.

It’s unclear whether machine learning can adequately catch and limit disturbing children’s content — much of which is creepy in ways that may be difficult for a moderation algorithm to discern.

Part of the issue comprises videos uploaded by children, which may be innocent in intent, but which attract creepy comments and worse from pedophiles.

Screenshots show how one YouTube user left dozens of inappropriate comments on videos posted by boys aged between seven and 14.

“Send me the 2 minute naked wrestling match private,” the user wrote. “And I will tell you everything you need to know to grow your channel. I wanna see u naked. It feels awesome to be naked on YouTube, try it bro.”

The blog post says that YouTube is also ramping up its team of ad reviewers to ensure advertising doesn’t appear alongside or within inappropriate videos.

We believe this requires a new approach to advertising on YouTube, carefully considering which channels and videos are eligible for advertising. We are planning to apply stricter criteria, conduct more manual curation, while also significantly ramping up our team of ad reviewers to ensure ads are only running where they should.


Trinity Mount Ministries

Atrocities on kids rise in Assam

Guwahati: Assam has reported a three-fold increase in the number of cases relating to crimes against children between 2014 and 2016. Nearly 75 per cent of these were kidnapping cases.

According to the Crime in India 2016 report of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released by Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, the number of cases related to crime against children increased from 1,385 in 2014 to 2,385 in 2015 and 3,964 in 2016.

Tripura reported 369 cases, followed by Meghalaya (213), Mizoram (178), Manipur (137), Arunachal Pradesh (134) and Nagaland (25). The report said of the 3,964 cases reported in Assam last year, 2,970 were kidnapping cases followed by murders (35).

With the region prone to trafficking, 1,519 cases of abduction related to procurement of minor girls, followed by 676 cases in which minor girls were kidnapped and forced into marriage. The state reported 32 cases of trafficking and another 31 cases relating to kidnapping for prostitution.

Save the Children, an NGO, blamed poor implementation of the Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS), slow progress of trial and poor enforcement of the laws. "If child protection committees are set up in each village, block and the district as stipulated by ICPS, crimes against children will come down. This will help us keep a database of children and keep watch on crimes against them too. Similarly, criminals like those involved in trafficking rackets are taking advantage of the improved communication like mobile networks to take their targets out easily," project coordinator of Save the Children in Assam, Deba Prasad Sarma, said.

He stressed the need for a state-level action plan to check crimes against children.

Chiranjeeb Kakoty, director of Northeast Society for Promotion of Youth and the Masses (NESPYM), another NGO here, however, said many cases of kidnapping could be cases of elopement. "As soon as a girl goes missing, parents immediately lodge a missing complaint in a police station and in most cases a kidnapping case is also registered. But during investigation, it has often been found that the girl had eloped. Kidnapping and trafficking are serious issues but a large chunk of such kidnappings are mutual elopement," he said.

The NCRB report also revealed 821 cases of sexual offence against children in Assam in 2016 of which 586 were rape cases. Mizoram reported 167 cases followed by Tripura (156), Meghalaya (151), Manipur (43) and Nagaland (27). The cases were registered under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012.

The number of cases of juveniles in conflict, however, came down to 436 in 2016 against 487 in 2014 and 624 in 2015. Meghalaya reported 84 cases involving juveniles. The figure was 57 in Arunachal Pradesh, followed by Mizoram (53), Tripura (25), Nagaland (18) and Manipur (10).

Source - The Telegraph

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Monday, December 4, 2017

UNICEF highlights child online safety at World Internet Conference

Source: Xinhua

WUZHEN, Zhejiang, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Four sculptures stood in great contrast to the advanced technology on display in Wuzhen Internet International Conference and Exhibition Center; however, they attracted just as much, if not more, attention from visitors.

The "Cyber Cocoon Kids" art installation, presented by UNICEF China at the on-going World Internet Conference, shows the four key online risks for children: cyberbullying, excessive internet use, online child sexual abuse and oversharing personal information.

Artist Xie Yong and creative director Kevin Wang came up with the concept of "Cyber Cocoon Kids" to represent the potential isolation that can occur when children inhabit a cyber world that parents and caregivers do not fully understand.

"Protecting children online is a vital issue in internet governance, and also closely linked to the Sustainable Development Goals," said Fatoumata Ndiaye, UNICEF deputy executive director.

At the conference, UNICEF also co-hosted a Child Online Safety Forum bringing global experts to share learning, experience and practice in this area.

"The internet offers children access to a whole world of possibilities to learn, connect and play," said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to China. "As policy makers, digital industry representatives or as parents and caregivers, we need to protect children from the worst that digital technology has to offer and expand their access to the best."

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Sunday, December 3, 2017

INTERPOL - Trafficking in human beings

Trafficking in human beings is a multi-billion-dollar form of international organized crime, constituting modern-day slavery.

Victims are recruited and trafficked between countries and regions using deception or coercion. They are stripped of their autonomy, freedom of movement and choice, and face various forms of physical and mental abuse.

There are three main types of human trafficking:

Trafficking for forced labour;Trafficking for sexual exploitation;Trafficking for the harvesting of tissue, cells and organs.People smuggling

Closely connected is the issue of people smuggling in which smugglers procure, for financial or material gain, the illegal entry of an individual into a country of which he is neither a citizen nor a permanent resident. Generally speaking, once payment is completed, the relationship between the migrant and the smuggler is terminated.

Irregular migration is not a new issue, but is one that has taken on new proportions in recent years, especially in the Mediterranean region. Transnational organized crime groups are taking advantage of this crisis in order to make huge profits. They facilitate the passage of migrants across borders in return for payment, with little or no regard for their safety and wellbeing.

Linked to people smuggling and human trafficking are other crimes such as illicit money flows and the use of fraudulent travel documents.

INTERPOL's response

Trafficking in human beings is a crime under international law and many national and regional legal systems. Given the complexities of the issue, a multitude of strategies are necessary at a range of levels in order to reduce the problem.

Operations and projects – concrete action in the field to dismantle human trafficking networks;INTERPOL tools – technical tools and systems for sharing information globally;Partnerships – strengthening our approach by working across sectors;Events and conferences – bringing together experts from across the world.

We have collated a number of resources covering general information, international legislation, and law enforcement guides and manuals.


At INTERPOL, we support national police in tactical deployments in the field, aimed at breaking up the criminal networks behind trafficking in human beings and people smuggling.

Operations are preceded by training workshops to ensure that officers on the ground are trained in a range of skills, including specialist interview techniques and the use of specialized equipment.

Deployments effectively combine police action with input from a number of different sectors such as customs and environmental officers, non-governmental organizations, officials from the Ministries of Health and Social Affairs, and prosecutors.

1. Forced child labour.
2. Smuggling Training Operation Programme (STOP)

A number of operations have targeted forced child labour in Africa.

Operation Akoma (2015)

More than 150 children, aged between five and 16, were rescued following operations in Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana targeting child trafficking and exploitation. The ongoing operation has so far led to the arrest of 25 people involved in forcing the children to work in extreme conditions, seriously jeopardizing their health.

Focused on the agricultural and trade sectors, the operations were run in partnership with the International Organization for Migration.

More than 250 officials representing law enforcement, government, immigration, forestry, social and medical services, were trained prior to the operation. Training covered the identification of cases and ensuring rescued children received the necessary care before eventually being returned to safety.

Read the Operation Akoma media release (22 June 2015)

Operation Nawa (2014)

In an operation against child trafficking and exploitation, law enforcement authorities in Côte d’Ivoire rescued 76 children believed to have been trafficked across West Africa for the purposes of illegal child labour.

Some 170 Ivorian law enforcement officers participated in Operation Nawa, in which gendarmes, police and forestry agents targeted cacao fields and illegal gold mines in five areas across the Soubré region. With the majority of the suspected child trafficking victims believed to originate from Burkina Faso and Mali, the operation led to the arrest and sentencing of eight traffickers (five men and three women).

Read the Operation Nawa media release (4 April 2014)

Operation Tuy (2012)

Nearly 400 victims of child trafficking were rescued across Burkina Faso in an operation coordinated by INTERPOL.

The children, some as young as 10 years old, were discovered working under extreme conditions in illegally-operated gold mines and cotton fields. More than 70 individuals were arrested for child trafficking and labour offences.

Read the Operation Tuy media release (22 November 2012)

Operation Bia (2011)

In an operation codenamed Bia II, INTERPOL joined forces with national authorities in Ghana to rescue child victims of forced labour.

The children, aged from five to 17 had been trafficked from other parts of the country to work on fishing boats, often up to 14 hours a day. Ghana’s police rescued 116 children and arrested 30 suspected traffickers, 28 of whom were later sentenced in court for exposing children to danger and engaging minors in hazardous activities.

Read the Operation Bia II media release (25 May 2011)

Operation Bana (2010)

Police in Gabon rescued more than 140 children who had been trafficked from 10 different countries to work as forced labour in local markets, in an INTERPOL-led operation codenamed Bana.

Some 44 people were arrested in the operation, which was the first operation of its kind in Central Africa. During the operation, teams of officials carried out checks at market stalls in the capital city Libreville, where children as young as six years old were working in a variety of roles, from carrying heavy goods to selling products.

Read the Operation Bana media release (20 December 2010)

Operation Cascades (2010)

More than 100 suspected child trafficking victims were identified and taken into care and 11 individuals arrested, following an operation led by police in Burkina Faso and supported by INTERPOL. Dozens more children were also returned to their families following child labour investigations.

During the three-day operation, police officers checked highways linking Burkina Faso’s capital to other regions in the country and to adjoining countries, and also raided illegally-operated gold mining quarries in the Cascades region.

Read the Operation Cascades media release (5 November 2010)

Operation Bia (2009)

INTERPOL's first-ever police operation targeting child trafficking in West Africa resulted in the rescue of more than 50 child workers and the arrest of eight people in connection with the illegal recruitment of children. The children were of seven different nationalities – demonstrating the extent of transnational child trafficking in the region – and had been bought by plantation owners needing cheap labour to harvest the cocoa and palm plantations. The children were discovered working under extreme conditions, forced to carry massive loads seriously jeopardizing their health. 

Read the Operation Bia news story (3 August 2009)


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79 alleged child predators have been arrested across New Jersey:


A total of 79 alleged child predators have been arrested across New Jersey.

Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced the massive roundup of predators and child pornography offenders on Friday.

Among those accused include a camp counselor, a youth minister and several adults who allegedly tried to have children transported across state lines for the purposes of sex.

The attorney general has a strong message for those engaging in these disturbing acts.

"If you're lurking in a chat room looking to exploit a child, our investigators are lurking alongside you," Porrino said.

The roundup was part of Operation Safety Net.

Those arrested were identified as:

William Esker, 22, of Bayonne, N.J., was charged on Sept. 7 by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office with aggravated criminal sexual contact for allegedly engaging in sexual conduct with a girl, 14, over whom he had direct supervision as a camp counselor. He also is charged with providing obscene material to a child and endangering the welfare of a child.

Donald Beckwith, 34, of Browns Mills, N.J., is charged in Delaware with sexual solicitation of a minor and attempt to commit unlawful sexual contact with a minor. Beckwith, a captain in the Air Force stationed in New Jersey, met a girl, 14, through an online chat group for children and allegedly engaged her in sexual conversations, ultimately asking her to meet him in person. He allegedly met the girl twice in Delaware. The first time, he allegedly reached under her shirt and tried to touch her breast, and the second time he allegedly hugged her and repeatedly asked her to lie on a bed in the back of his vehicle and watch a movie with him. The New Jersey State Police arrested Beckwith on Aug. 16 in an investigation initiated by the Delaware State Police. Detectives allegedly found over 10 nude images of an underage girl on his phone.

Michael DeBlock, 22, of Hopatcong, N.J., a youth minister, was arrested on Oct. 10 and charged by the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office with possession of child pornography and conveying obscene materials to a child. DeBlock allegedly exchanged sexual photos and texts with a girl, 14, including a photo of his penis.

Brandon Morris, 24, of Hammonton, N.J., was arrested on Oct. 17 and charged by the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office with manufacturing child pornography, endangering the welfare of a child by sexual conduct, conveying obscene materials to a child, and possession of child pornography. Morris allegedly engaged multiple underage girls in conversations on FaceTime, instructing them to perform sexual acts on themselves, which he recorded.

A 17-year-old student from Bergen County, whose name is not being released due to his juvenile status, was arrested on Aug. 17 and charged by the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office with manufacturing, distributing and possessing child pornography, as well as invasion of privacy. The juvenile allegedly had over 1,000 files of suspected child pornography on his electronic devices, including video recordings he allegedly made by hiding his smartphone in a private bathroom in order to record underage boys who were nude, showering or urinating.

Craig Kirschner, 39, of Marlboro, N.J., was arrested on Aug. 21 and charged by the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office with luring a child, attempted sexual assault of a minor, and conveying obscene material to a minor. Kirschner allegedly solicited an undercover detective, whom he believed to be a 15-year-old male, to meet for oral sex. The detective was monitoring a mobile app when he encountered Kirschner. After the undercover detective identified himself as a 15-year-old boy, Kirschner allegedly sent him photos of an erect penis, asked him to meet for oral sex, and stated "I can be generous for your trouble."

Isaac Toney, 40, of Trenton, N.J., was arrested on July 17 by the New Jersey State Police and charged with luring a child. He allegedly used a mobile app to solicit an undercover detective, whom he believed was a 14-year-old male, for oral sex. He was arrested at Veterans Park in Hamilton, Mercer County, where he allegedly was to meet the "boy" for a sexual encounter.


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