During a recent law enforcement sting in the state of Georgia to bust online child predators (known as Operation Mayday) it was revealed that 22 people from such diverse employment backgrounds as soldier, student and corrections officer are suspected of engaging in planning to meet a child for sex, according to a May 18 news report from WLTX.
Employment status and age of these suspects show that those intent on having sex with your children hail from such wage-earning professions as funeral home director, tire store employee, electrician, computer programmer, pool attendant, pharmacy tech, grocery store employee, restaurant manager, retail stocker, truck driver, landscaper, soldier, airman, student, deputy jailer, crane tech, actor and even the unemployed. Ages of the 22 suspects ranged from 19 to 52, with most falling somewhere in the 20s age group.
One does not expect their child to be wooed on the computer for a swap of money for sex, but that’s just what these suspects are accused of trying to do with their victims, willing to travel as far away as South Carolina in one instance in order to finalize the deal. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported:
The children these predators target are both boys and girls,” according to GBI Spokeswoman Sherry Lang, who also said that “Six of those arrested also admitted to previous sexual contact with children.
Parents are urged to talk more with their youth about the dangers lurking in online chat rooms and social media sites, where older predators prey upon the naivete of the teens and younger children they are corresponding with in these venues. Youth do not always realize that those they are talking to are older and mean them harm–or that they can even find them even if they don’t give out their home location information.
In addition to the aforementioned professions that employed these alleged sex offenders, remember that any occupation can be the professional way a sex offender or other criminal earns his or her living. Thus, parents can’t even trust that a soldier or corrections officer is someone who is safe for their child or teen to communicate with online. And they need to make sure their children know that, too, as Georgia’s Operation Mayday proves when they rounded up 22 people, including one woman, for trying to have sex with children after corresponding with them via social media online methods.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) reports on May 18 that Operation Mayday was “a four day proactive effort centered in Richmond County, Ga..’ and ‘those arrested were charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Child Molestation,” which is a violation of the Georgia Code OCGA 16-4-1. One person arrested arrived at the scheduled location in possession of two firearms, while many others arrived with digital devices, which were all confiscated. Visit the Georgia community information program website for more on how you can keep your family safe while using the Internet.