Over the past couple of years, residents of North Carolina and their children have had to resort to working and going to school online as opposed to the traditional in-person environment. As such, children have spent more time online, especially during the day, and this has reportedly caused an increase in the number of reports of online child exploitation. Internet crimes involving minors are very serious; however, those accused of such offenses still retain the right to defend themselves against such charges.
Cause for rise in reports
According to the State Bureau of Investigation’s Computer Crimes Unit, reports of adults pressuring children to produce and share sexually explicit photos or videos could reach 12,000 or more cases by year’s end. This is just for North Carolina alone, and it would be a substantial increase in the total number of such incidents reported each year. Officials point to the fact that more people are simply online nowadays due to the current working and education environments and that there is less oversight from parents regarding social media activity.
What’s more, youngsters are usually far more adept at using social media than their parents, which can help them hide their online social activity. However, parents should closely monitor their children’s social media accounts, phones and other devices, and warn them of the dangers of interacting with others online, some of whom may be sexual predators. This is especially true when children post or send photos of themselves to others they do not know.
A serious crime
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia, receives tips from concerned citizens regarding child exploitation, child pornography and other unlawful issues happening online. Also, the major social media providers are reportedly cooperating with authorities in sharing tips, and the law requires them to report communications between children and others who are sexually exploitive in nature. If someone is accused of an internet crime involving the solicitation of a minor, he or she will want to work directly with an experienced criminal defense attorney to obtain the best possible outcome, considering the circumstances.