Articles Posted in Internet, E-Mail, Text Messaging

Around the Florida and the nation, police and parents are seeing a growing trend for teenage girls to settle disputes with their fists. According to statistics, one out of every four episodes of teen violence is perpetrated by teenage girls, up from just a generation ago when it was one and 10. The Justice Department said that it is not just boys anymore but violence among girls is increasing.

In Winter Haven, Florida, two teenagers were accused of beating a girl in a fight and posting the fight online. The alleged perpetrators were Walter Bouiye, 18, of 1695 Marshall Road and his 16-year old sister. Bouiye was booked Wednesday into Polk County Jail and charged with child abuse and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. His sister was charged with battery and taken to the juvenile detention center; the police withheld her name because she is a juvenile and charged with a misdemeanor-level crime. Of course, any person including a juvenile charged with a crime will be entitled to defend himself or herself against the charges through the legal representation of a Florida criminal defense lawyer or the services of the Public Defender’s office.

The incident occurred on Monday about 4:30 p.m. on Marshall Road when the brother and sister approached the 14-year-old victim in the neighborhood. According to the police, Bouiye’s sister and the 14-year-old began to fight over a boy. Bouiye jumped in and punched the 14-year-old in the head, and then at one point kicked her on the right side of her face, police said. Someone broke up the fight and the crowd ran away as the police arrived. Officers were able to identify the brother and sister through witnesses at the scene, but the video of the fight online also helped.

child%20pornography.jpgCentral Florida detention deputy Robin Leigh Pagoria, 45, was accused of disrobing and restraining two young girls while she spanked and videotaped them. According to the report, the girls were between the ages of 10 and 18. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said that Pagoria posted the videos online for her boyfriend to download. On Thursday she was charged with child abuse and producing child pornography. Pagoria resigned on Thursday; she had been a deputy for six years. Pagoria will be entitled to legal representation from a Florida criminal defense attorney or the services of the public defender’s office. It would appear from the news report that there is evidence against Ms. Pagoria but the court proceedings will determine the extent of admissible evidence and what elements of the alleged crimes can be proved and are proved.

Under federal law, child pornography is defined as any visual depiction, including any photograph, film, video, picture, or computer or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical, or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where:

-the production of the visual depiction involves the use of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct; or

handcuffs%20on%20white%20background.jpg

In Florida and other States, law enforcement officers and detectives are working to try to make the Internet a safer place for children. Unfortunately, like any other arena, some child predators are using the Internet to find victims. In Lake County, Florida, investigators and detectives spent 4 months chatting online with Howard Scott Kalin, age 47, from Maryland according to a news story posted in the Orlando Sentinel. According to the report, Kalin was under the impression that he was chatting with a 14 year old boy and the boy’s caregiver. The sheriff’s report indicated that Kalin travelled to Florida and planned to play basketball with the 14 year old and then have sex with the 14 year old child. What a disturbing plan and situation. Fortunately, the 14 year old boy was really an undercover agent and no child was put in danger. Kalin practices law and runs a business. He is an educated man who even has a family. The police conducted a search of Kalin’s car and found lubricant and condoms.

Mr. Kalin will be entitled to defend himself against these charges through the services of a Florida criminal defense attorney or the services of the public defender’s office if he cannot afford an attorney. There may be some technical legal defenses to such charges but it would appear that that Kalin will have an uphill battle to defend himself against these charges. The evidence seems to be quite extensive assuming that the 4 months of Internet chat records are admitted into evidence along with the evidence seized at the scene like the basketball, lubricant, and condoms. See Magician-Lawyer Charged in Cyber Crime Involving Undercover Detective Posing at 14 Year Old Boy.

texting%20and%20school.jpg

The Orange County School Board is considering implementing tougher policies regarding students “sexting”. Under the new, stricter policy, students caught sexting (sending sexy photos or dirty text messages via cell phone) could be expelled. And, under Florida law those caught sending sexually explicit photos of underage students could be charged with transmitting child pornography. The changes could take place next month, after the School Board examines the proposed policies.

Under the new policy, students who send sexually explicit messages or photos from home or over the weekend could risk being expelled if the messages or photos cause a commotion at the school. Also, school officials are given broader authority to confiscate students’ cell phones. The policy also tightens up on “cyber-bullying” – using electronic devices to pick on students or others. If you would like to read more on this topic please see The School Board of Orange County, Florida tightens up on sexting and cyber-bullying within its schools.

Hopefully more school districts across the State of Florida will follow Orange County’s approach to sexting and cyber-bullying. Social networking websites and cell phones are so accessible to teenagers. Therefore, the rules and policies of every school district need to take into consideration the dangers that these sites and cell phones create.

technology%20lap%20top%20computer%20keyboard.jpg

Social Networking, the Internet, Smart Phones, the Blackberry, the iPhone, and the laptop are all great tools. Unfortunately, there are many people out there who are using these tools and the associated technology to prey on children. A story reported in the Huffington Post and other news outlets involved a 14 year old girl who was seduced by a 44 year old man. It has been alleged that the man – Moses Virgil Campbell, Jr. – age 44 – had sex with the 14 year old girl. An investigation led to the location of the 14 year old girl underneath Mr. Campbell’s bed . The intervention by the teen’s mother led to the discovery of this inappropriate and illegal relationship. A cab company and driver also provided information to investigators that led to the arrest of Mr. Campbell. See Man Allegedly Used iPhone App to Meet; Have Sex with 14 Year Old Girl: FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation).

It was reported that Mr. Campbell met the 14 year old through a Social Networking site / program called i Date – an application for the iPhone. Mr. Campbell will be able to defend himself against these charges from a public defender or a private criminal defense lawyer. It may be a tough case to defend against the charges since there will be evidence in the form of electronic evidence. In addition, police found the teen underneath Mr. Campbell’s. How is this going to be explained if it can be explained at all?

Parents should be aware of stories like these and take an opportunity to speak to their children and check on the Internet and Social Networking activity of their children.

technology%20lap%20top%20computer%20keyboard.jpg

Parents – do you know what your child is searching for on the Internet? You may be surprised to see what your tike / small child is searching for on the Internet. iMom is a website for mothers that covers a variety of topics. iMom posted the top 100 seaches by children. As you may or may not have expected, sex and porn were in the Top 5 along with You Tube. Children are curious and will explore the computer and Internet. As parents, teachers, and caregivers, we must supervise and monitor a child’s use of the computer. There are child predators lurking out there in cyberspace just looking for their next victim. You can see the full list at Top 100 Searches by Children at the www.imom.com site.

technology%20computer%20keyboard%20close%20up%20enter%20key.jpg

In Florida and other States, there are school teachers out there who may pose a risk to our children. In Orange County Florida, a second grade teacher (Dale Chisena, Sr.) was arrested for child pornography charges. Chisena taught second grade at Lovell Elementary School for over 30 years. Investigators reported that Chisena and his son downloaded 1000 child pornography images on their respective computers. The computer Forensic evidence will be a key focus of the evidence against Chisena. Of course, he will have the right to representation from a Florida criminal defense lawyer or a public defender on these charges. It would appear that the number of downloads would be tough evidence to overcome or to explain that it was a mistake. The child pornography industry victimizes child over and over again. Those who pay for or even download it are part of this immoral industry. You can read more about this story at Bond Set for Teacher Accused of Having Child Pornography.

Internet.jpgAccording to the Florida Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit, Jason Richard Andes chatted twice online with an individual he believed to be a fourteen year old girl. Both times he asked the girl to meet him for sex. He also used his web cam to send nude images of himself to the undercover state investigator who was posing as the underage girl.

Andes was caught in a sting that had been planned in a joint effort by the Florida state CyberCrime unit, the Jacksonville Sherriff’s Office, and the FBI. When a search warrant was executed at Andes’ home, police seized his computer, webcam, and other digital media files. Andes has been charged with four felonies; two counts of computer pornography and two counts of soliciting a child via computer. Andes has been booked into the Duval County jail. He is not currently eligible for bond.

While it is great that these law enforcement agencies are actively pursuing Internet predators, parents can do a lot to help keep their children safe while surfing the web. Talk to your kids about web safety, how to respond to inappropriate behavior, and make sure that adult and other objectionable content is blocked from their view.

Education%20school%20day%20care%20red%20school%20house.jpg

A man who worked in two North Florida School Districts (Duval and Nassau County) was recently indicted on child pornography charges according to a story posted at the Florida Times Union website. Robert Allan Cowan, age 47, worked at Arlington Middle School, Fort Caroline Middle School, and Yulee Primary School. U.S. Attorney A. Brian Albritton reported the indictment which involved two counts of producing child pornography, three counts of receiving child pornography and two counts of possessing child pornography. If the allegations are true, it is quite concerning that a man working in the school system would engage in such activity. Of course, Mr. Cowan will be entitled to defend himself against these criminal allegations. In many cases of this nature, there is a solid trail of forensic computer / online evidence that helps secure a conviction and / or a plea deal.

The case was investigated and coordinated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Department of Children and Families.

technology%20mobile%20cell%20phone%20with%20key%20pad%20silver.jpg

Parents and caregivers should monitor the text messages and e mails of their teen children. Of course, this can be a battle at times due to the typical teen’s demand for privacy. In Kissimmee, Florida, a mother became concerned when she saw some text messages to her 13 year old daughter’s mobile phone. These text messages eventually lead to the mother’s discovery that her 13 year old daughter had sex with a 21 year old man that she met online at www.myspace.com. The mother reported the texts to the police who later arrested the man for lewd and lascivious battery, traveling to meet with a minor, and driving with a suspended license.

Children and teens greatly enjoy the Internet. Unfortunately, children and teens do not appreciate the dangers of online sites like My Space and Facebook. Parents should teach their children about the dangers of predators on the Internet and the fact that they target children. Parents should do their best to keep children off of sites like Facebook and My Space. In the alternative, parents should monitor their children’s activities online and on their mobile phones. Make your child be your friend on My Space and Facebook. Set forth restrictions and limitations when your child is online. Make sure that they do not create friendships or liasons from purely online contact. It is well known that a person can be any body he or she wants to be online. You can read more about this Kissimmee story at Orlando Man Arrested Following a Mother’s Discovery of Text Messages.