Sexual Predators Prowling Online
With websites like Myspace and Facebook that offer personal profile pages, predators can piece information together to find out a lot about a person. Many of those targeted are just kids.
Sharon Pflugradt walks her kids to and from school everyday to protect them, but just because they're in the house doesn't mean they're safe. Many sexual predators now use the internet to find children. But, Pflugradt tries to make sure they don't find her's.
"Making sure you know what they're getting into on the computer and if it's something that if it makes me uncomfortable I will let them know to make sure and if someone comes on the computer saying different stuff that they don't understand but you know I'm with them anyway by the computer," Pflugradt said.
"It's absolutely sickening to see these guys do this. I mean its just the notion of somebody who seeks child victims is just something abhorring," said Sen. John Loundon.
Loudon wants stronger penalties for online predators.
"Predators have turned from prowling around playgrounds to prowling on the internet and we need to shut that down," he said.
Loudon's bill would increase a predator's prison sentence from 1-7 years to 5-15 years. Police officers could also arrest predators attempting to lure a child. The bill would also increase the penalties for all sexual offenses and allow parole officers to search convicted offenders' computer hard drives. Officials say parents play a huge role in protecting their children.
"Sometimes if a child knows how to get in some of these sites without your knowledge, lets face it, most kids are much smarter than their parents on using computers. But, it's your job to be nosy and know what they're doing," said Nevin Turner, Chief Deputy of Randolph County.
The Department of Justice says 20% of children 10 and older have gotten unwanted sexual come-on's online. Many online profiles contain information like e-mail address, cell phone number, college and high school which can easily be pieced together to find someone. Loudon expects the bill to pass by May.
If you would like to know how to report online inticement of a child, click on the link.