Indiana Task Force Works to Bring Down Child Pornography
While Indiana is best known for cornfields, basketball and Indy car racing, a state crime task force says it is also a breeding ground for twisted perversion.
According to recent statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, Indiana made 166 arrests in 2011 involving people suspected of manufacturing, distributing and possessing child pornography. That’s quite a haul considering states like New York and Chicago only made 17 and 71, respectively in the same year. Those are figures the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children task force say they are proud of considering the state receives about $100,000 less funding than in places like New York City.
Officials say that the reach of the Internet has really pulled together the cooperation of various law enforcement agencies to battle the resurgence of child pornography that has taken place since the dawn of the digital age. They also say that Internet chat rooms and other lifestyle forums has a way of making some of these culprits feel as though they are doing nothing wrong.
"The thing with social networking is, no matter what your interest is, you can find people with the same interest or even more extreme interest ... so by extension, you can feel normal," said Indiana State Police Lt. Chuck Cohen, chief of the state's Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
In 2011, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children says it was given the horrifying task of reviewing over 17 million images of child pornography – four times more than in 2007 – a sign that the epidemic of child porn trafficking is far from over.