Teenagers, Chat Rooms and the Web:
Caroline Mountford

History In this section describe the history of your issue. What cultural and technological events have preceded it? Who were some of the key players? How were attitudes and behaviors different in the past and what caused them to change/evolve? Can you represent the information in a timeline?

The history of this issue is really just beginning. The number of teenagers in chat rooms are increasing daily. Just starting my paper with a search for teenage chat rooms I was amazed. I found more porno sites that I had ever previously seen. I was throughly disgusted and decided this was the time to look seriously into this issue. I see this as an ever increasing problem.

There has been numerous news casts telling the viewers about preditors on the web. I see this as a growing problem. I found many sites telling about prevoius cases, and some sites that are working to keep the web safe for teenagers. At one site: Priority 2 I found case after case of adults praying on teenagers on the web.

Here is an example of what I found:

CHURCH DEACON FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES --11/99 Tampa, FL- - The Associate Press reported that Robert Harvey Alexander, 41, a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Tampa, who had already been accused of Internet sex crime against a teen-age girl faced more sexual extortion charges for allegedly terrorizing five other high school and college students. Three 21-year-old students at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and two students at Plantation High School in Florida were the latest alleged victims of attempts to engage them in telephone and cybersex. Frank Gallagher, head of Tampa's FBI office, said the new charges grew out of interviews with people named on a "Victim's List." Agents seized the list with 99 names and e-mail addresses on it when they arrested Alexander Friday for using the Internet in an attempt to extort a 16-year-old girl. All of those on the list received virtually identical messages threatening to destroy their reputations unless they engaged in phone or computer sex with the sender. Gallagher called it "cyberterrorism" because of the fear created in the recipients. Prosecutors said they hope the new charges will bolster their claim that Alexander is a methodical and dangerous sexual predator

COLLEGE INSTRUCTOR CHARGED IN DEATH OF 18 YEAR OLD HE MET ON INTERNET-- 11/99 Louisville, KY-- Robert Molloy, Jr, a part-time college instructor at Jefferson Community College is charged with killing an 18-year-old Tony Antone. Molloy had been the victim's tutor in anatomical sciences over the Internet and had encouraged him to move to Louisville, the young man's father said. Antone had moved from Pensacola, Fla to Louisville about 8 months ago because Molloy had allegedly persuaded the move for a possible scholarship to JCC. The boy's body was found in Molloy;s apartment. He had been dead for about 24 hours.

BANKER FACES ON-LINE OBSCENITY CHARGES --11/99 -- The Associated Press reported that Joseph Yodice, 37, of Manahawkin and a Wall Street-area bank executive was arrested in New Jersey on charges that he allegedly used an on-line chat room to arrange a sexual encounter with an Ohio sheriff's deputy posing as a 13-year-old girl. He is charged with two counts each of pandering obscenity involving a minor, pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor, and illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material or performance. Yodice is accused of sending 46 pictures of rape and sodomy involving young children to someone he thought was a girl in Painesville, Ohio. He then planned to fly to Ohio to have sex with her.

MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN TEEN BOMBING -- 9/99 Montpelier, VT-- . Chris William Dean, 36 agreed to plead guilty to sending a pipe bomb that killed a teen-ager last year after their Internet deal for CB radio equipment went sour. As part of the plea agreement, federal prosecutors said they will seek a life sentence and not the death penalty. Dean also must apologize in person and in a letter to Sheila Rockwell, who was seriously injured in the explosion that killed her son, Christopher Marquis, after he opened a package from Dean in his bedroom. Dean frequented Internet sites where radio equipment is bought and traded. He allegedly believed the teen-ager had cheated him in some deals. Apparently he wasn't alone: United Parcel Service had investigated Marquis after receiving several similar complaints about him.

PROFESSOR CHARGED --9/99 Sanford, FL - Madjid adam Belkerdid, arrested for allegedly soliciting a 12-year-old girl over the Internet has resigned from his position at the University of Central Florida. Police said Belkerdid sent sexually explicit messages and photographs to a teenaged girl through the Internet and then asked to meet her at a park for sex. The girl was sent into the dark park for the meeting. Before police officers intervened, the girl said the man, latter identified as Belkerdid, touched her breast. Police charged Belkerdid with sexual battery and a lewd and lascivious act on a child. He is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 12.

TEACHER CHARGED IN INTERNET SEX STING --9/99 Orange County, CA--The LA Times reported that charges were filed against an El Toro High School math teacher and longtime wrestling coach alleging that he used the Internet to arrange a meeting for sex with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl. The 50 year old was arrested last week by the FBI's Sex Assault Felony Enforcement team, whose agents work undercover in Internet chat rooms. He is charged with one count of an attempted lewd act on a child under 14, six counts of attempting to send harmful matter to a minor over the Internet and one count of attempting to send harmful matter to a minor via telephone.

These are just a few of the 10 + pages I found on the web from this year alone, about the recent crime against children that have all started in chat rooms on the web. There were over 26 pages from this section, which included child pornagraphy through the web.

I believe this issue is only going to get worse before it gets better. The increase in technology has made it too easy for sexual preditors to attract unsuspecting vicims. I believe the key players are going to be the government and parents who are fed up with the children of our would being prayed upon.

I think this issue is going to have to change it is becoming a news of the week feature. This is making law enforcement change the way they seek child preditors. The police s now becoming more aggressive trying to stop this before it becomes out of hand.

In a time line the issue of preditors and pornographer on the web has increased yearly. I went through the lengthy article from Priority 2 and looked at the dates of the articles and here is the imformation I found: in a year timeline

In 1997: 1/4 th of a page of articles about computer crimes against teenagers

In 1998: 6 pages of articles about computer crimes against teenagers

In 1999: 9 plus pages of artices about computer crimes against teenagers

As you can see the number are rising at a large number. This is making protecting our teenagers in cyberspace something we all need to cinsider.


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