Crimes Against Children
Crimes Against Children
Innocence Lost National Initiative
- In 2003, the FBI—supported by the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children—created the Innocence Lost National Initiative, which addresses the growing problem of children being recruited into prostitution.
- A total of 43 FBI-led task forces or working groups have been established with state and local law enforcement to combat this crime problem, with strong support provided by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
- There have been more than 1,187 investigations (child exploitation or child trafficking cases) initiated, which have led to more than 1,600 children being recovered, more than 496 indictments, and more than 730 convictions. These convictions have resulted in multiple 25-year to life sentences. Prosecution at the federal level has resulted in the dismantling of 83 criminal organizations engaged in child prostitution.
Finding Abducted Children
- The FBI created 10 regional Child Abduction Rapid Deployment (CARD) Teams in October 2005. CARD Teams rapidly deploy experienced Crimes Against Children investigators to provide investigative, technical, and resource assistance to state and local law enforcement during the most critical time period following a child abduction. As of August 8, 2011, 69 deployments have occurred with a total of 77 victims. Thirty-one victims have been recovered alive, nine have been victims of an accidental death, and 13 are still missing.
- An FBI supervisory special agent is assigned full-time at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to coordinate resources and facilitate the most effective FBI response to child abductions.
- The FBI developed and acquired the Registered Sex Offender Locator Tool, a technology-enabled solution that integrates several data and analytical capabilities into one system to provide vital and immediate investigative lead information during the critical hours immediately following a child abduction. This resource enables the FBI to identify sex offenders who have or had a presence in the vicinity of a child abduction and to identify key locations where an abducted child may be taken.
Protecting Children on the Internet
- The Innocent Images National Initiative combats the worldwide proliferation of child pornography and child sexual exploitation facilitated by the Internet; the Innocent Images International Task Force, established in October 2004 to target East-Central European websites, has generated nearly 3,000 leads.
- The Endangered Child Alert Program, launched in February 2004, uses national and international media exposure of unknown adults featured in child pornography. Through this effort, 37 children have been identified and saved and 12 subjects have been identified (eight are in custody).
- In November 2003, the FBI launched Operation Peer Pressure, targeting persons who use peer-to-peer networks to collect and distribute child pornography. The FBI conducted 166 online sessions in which undercover FBI agents downloaded child pornography from offenders’ computers. The operation resulted in 360 search warrants, 91 indictments, 88 arrests, and 55 convictions. Many subjects with prior criminal histories were identified (including 10 registered sex offenders); and more than 20 subjects were under the age of. Charges not only included offenses related to the possession and distribution of child pornography, but also to the sexual abuse of children.
- In 2003, the FBI began a nationwide initiative to investigate child sexual abuse in online forums known as eGroups—over 180 searches were executed, 162 subjects were indicted, and 89 subjects were arrested, with more than 100 convictions.