AIKEN COUNTY. (WRDW/WAGT) – Any parent’s nightmare is someone sexually exploiting your kid.
It’s tough to talk about, but the truth is it takes dedicated law enforcement and a community to stop it from happening.
After seeing a spike in child pornography cases, the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office says they’re allocating more than $90,000 to their Internet Crimes Against Children Division.
We were at the sheriff’s office this afternoon. Here’s how they say this money will help take down predators.
That hike in internet crimes against children has the sheriff’s department adding another investigator to help investigate those cases.
In 2021, ACSO reported 75 internet crimes against children. Already this year, they’ve seen 60.
“There’s no particular reason that I can point out. These cases have been dramatically increasing. You can especially see that correlation after somebody has served their sentence, and they’re required to register on the sex offender registry,” said Captain Eric Abdullah.
Aiken County has one primary investigator who specializes in these cases, but they’re adding a second juvenile investigator.
“Internet crimes against children. That’s what it generally concentrates on. This investigator won’t just be investigating this. Sexual assault, child abuse, suspicious child fatalities, so a gambit of things and also investigate any crimes against vulnerable adults,” he said.
The sheriff’s department says having an expert in these situations is what’s needed in a growing community.
The ACSO has already announced that position internally, and they hope to have it filled within a month.
“It’s sad that we have to deal with crimes against children of this nature of just crimes against children period. Hopefully, it leads to a successful prosecution when we collaborate with our solicitor’s office,” said Abdullah.
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