Internet Crimes Task Force Investigates Predators, Sexting

7 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, November 03 2010 Nov 3, 2010 Wednesday, November 03, 2010 10:06:09 AM CDT November 03, 2010 in News

BOONE COUNTY - It is one of the sickest yet most rewarding jobs in the workforce today. Imagine if you spent your entire day on a computer trying to catch a sexual predator. Detective Andy Anderson of the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force spends his day catching sexual predators who are generally normal looking guys.

"The vast majority of people we catch have never had contact with law enforcement," Anderson said. "Most have jobs, are educated and are the ones who blend in with society."

His job isn't easy--while TV shows portray crimes in an hour, it takes time and deep digging for Anderson to complete an investigation. The cases can also get weird.

"There are people out there who will sway kids with other parents so they can molest them," Anderson said.

But it's not just adults who use poor judgment. Anderson said sexting is a major issue with kids right now, which involves minors engaging in sexual activity or chat by sending sexually explicit photos of themselves to other people.

On a given day, Anderson and colleagues are posing as kids fishing for trouble. He said the computer of 10 years ago was right in the middle of the house where parents could keep an eye on what the kids were doing, but it's all different now. A kid's cell phone is a computer in itself.

He said parents should be very concerned with sexting and cyber bullying.

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