(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today unveiled a bold new "Crimes Against Children Initiative," a comprehensive plan to protect Ohio's children from sexual predators.
"These predators are lurking in dark corners everywhere," Attorney General DeWine said. "At least 40 percent of those arrested for possession of child pornography have also sexually victimized children. Launching our 'Crimes Against Children Initiative', we hope to impact all of the evilness – the sexual abuse of children, as well as illegal child porn swapping and viewing."
Attorney General DeWine's "Crimes Against Children Initiative" includes:
• New "Crimes Against Children Unit" at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI)
BCI will create a new "Crimes Against Children Unit" with 15 experts who will investigate child predator cases. These specialized employees will work to stop child pornography lovers who share illegal child porn files on the internet. They will troll on the internet, looking for predators trying to connect sexually with young people. And they will help law enforcement agencies by analyzing computers, cell phones, and other electronics for evidence.
• Special Prosecutions Expansion
Within the Ohio Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Unit, two attorneys will dedicate their time to crimes against children. Our experts will be a valuable resource to local prosecutors who may tap our assistance to put more predators in prison.
• Rapid Response Team for Crimes Against Children
The Ohio Attorney General's office will create an internal Rapid Response Team for sex crimes committed against children. The team will include child victim advocates, special prosecutors, and agents from BCI. The Rapid Response Team will respond to victims in the field, partnering with local medical experts as needed.
• Specialized Law Enforcement Training
BCI and the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy (OPOTA) will provide specialized training to Ohio law enforcement. Instruction will include the right way to conduct a solid, legal case and how to catch a child predator in the act of either sharing pornography or meeting hook-ups with under-age minors. Along with training, the Ohio Attorney General's office will provide local law enforcement with technology (computer and software) to conduct proper investigations.
• Public Awareness Campaign
The more people aware of crimes against children the better. The Ohio Attorney General's office will publicize pictures of sex offenders who have committed crimes against children and who also have outstanding warrants against them.
Attorney General DeWine is a career-long champion of children and makes this latest "Crimes Against Children Initiative" announcement during November's National Child Safety and Protection Month.
"There is nothing more valuable and precious than our children," Attorney General DeWine said. "Leading the news lately, we've seen horrible sexual crimes allegedly involving Ohio children and children in other states. And unfortunately, even more child sexual abuse happens that never makes news. With our new 'Crimes Against Children Initiative', the goal is for each and every instance of abuse to stop."
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Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Eve Mueller: 614-466-3840