Flashpoint: Experts discuss growing child porn problems

DETROIT –

Flashpoint kicked off the final Sunday of August with a discussion about the growing problem of child pornography in the United States and metro Detroit. Devin Scillian said the cases almost always involved men who have jobs that allow them to be close to children, like teaching and coaching.

The punishment phase in these cases is too late because the incidents have already harmed the lives of children. Devin asked the panel what we can do to stop this increase in child pornography cases.

“It’s not a new phenomenon,” said Paul Walton, Oakland County Chief Asst. Prosecutor. “You used to have little clubs or cliques that would exchange photographs in basements and back rooms. But this has expanded their field, their playground. It’s international now, it’s not just located to a single location.

He said child pornography is a problem in many other countries, which gives the predators worldwide access. He said their office goes to local schools to talk about the dangers of online predators.

Dr. Gerald Shiener, Chief of Psychiatry at Sinai Grace Hospital, said that kids don’t know any better, but that pictures posted online are a type of advertisement to the predators. He thinks predators feel bad about that part of themselves so they escalate the risks they take, getting bolder until they get caught. He said they want someone to come from the outside and stop them.

General Crimes Unit Chief at the U.S. Attorney office Kevin Mulcahy said that the crimes are born out of shame, guilt loneliness and isolation. He said it’s much easier to produce an image now with the internet and cellphones.

Mulcahy said the victims are no longer localized because the images can be sent worldwide amongst predators.

Shiener said the most common predators are men who are around teenage boys. He said one adult should never be left alone with children, there should be at least two adults so they can keep an eye on each other. He also said to look out for adults who act like one of the kids and identify closely with the kids.

You can watch the first segment in the video posted above.

The panel returned in the second segment to talk about the impact of the internet on privacy. Walton said online predators can chat in their online community about restrictions and barriers that make it more difficult to obtain child porn.

Mulcahy said each predator he finds is just the tip of the iceberg and often leads to a web of other predators around the world as a result of their online connectivity. He said some of the predators say they’re glad to get caught, but others continue to lie because they’re so used to it.

Shiener said there are no guarantees in trying to “cure” predators of child pornography, but rehabilitation is possible. He said there must be heavy motivation because it’s a very difficult habit to break for the predators. He talked about different treatment options that have been tried around the country, though none are guaranteed to be effective.

Devin asked Walton about how the court feels about treatments like chemical castration. Walton talked about the process of finding out who has the most control and the best control in dealing with the sentences of child pornography cases.

Source: http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/politics/flashpoint/flashpoint-experts-discuss-growing-child-porn-problems/35002398