Flirting sex chat rooms
And though would-be sexual predators are surely aware of this ploy, the number of them stepping into these digital traps continues to soar.The 34-year-old Seattle resident is just one of roughly 230 suspects nationwide targeted by the FBI for alleged attempts to solicit sex from minors just in the past six months.Hundreds of officers conduct identical stings every day on behalf of agencies ranging from the U. Customs Service to the Redondo Beach Police Department.Whether the Internet has truly spawned more pedophiles, molesters and other sexual predators is debatable.
Enoch "Jerry" Jarrett, 50, was arrested last week by the FBI's Sex Assault Felony Enforcement team, a spokeswoman said.
Naughton, the former leader of Walt Disney Co.'s online efforts who last week was arrested on sex charges by the FBI, couldn't seem to avoid undercover agents in the seedy chat rooms he is accused of frequenting.
Just last month, he had at least two undercover agents competing for his virtual affections.
But given that only a small fraction of molestation victims meet their molesters on the Internet, some children's advocates and legal experts wonder whether the heavy online focus is out of proportion to what is still mainly an offline problem."In the past 10 years we've handled about 4,000 cases" of sexually abused children, said Erin Sorensen, director of a children's advocacy center in Chicago.
But there is little doubt that the Internet has become law enforcement's favorite tool for catching them.
Agents posing as teens almost certainly outnumber actual teens in many of the Internet's seedier chat rooms these days.