Opinion| It has been reported by the Washington Times that roughly 1,700 “suspected online child sex offenders were arrested in April and May, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.”
The operation, which lasted for two months and became known as operation “Broken Heart,” was headed by Internet Crimes Against Children task forces.
“Over the span of just two months, our ICAC task forces investigated more than 18,000 complaints of internet-related abuse and helped arrest 1,700 alleged abusers,” Attorney General William Barr explained in a statement.
According to the Washington Times, “The task forces targeted alleged predators who produced, distributed, received, or possessed child pornography, engaged in child sex trafficking or online enticement of children for sexual purposes, or traveled across state lines or abroad to sexually abuse children.”
From the Department of Justice official website:
The Department of Justice today announced the arrest of almost 1,700 suspected online child sex offenders during a two-month, nationwide operation conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children task forces. The task forces identified 308 offenders who either produced child pornography or committed child sexual abuse, and 357 children who suffered recent, ongoing or historical sexual abuse or were exploited in the production of child pornography.
The 61 ICAC task forces, located in all 50 states and comprised of more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies, led the coordinated operation known as “Broken Heart” during the months of April and May 2019. During the course of the operation, the task forces investigated more than 18,500 complaints of technology-facilitated crimes targeting children and delivered more than 2,150 presentations on internet safety to over 201,000 youth and adults.
“The sexual abuse of children is repugnant, and it victimizes the most innocent and vulnerable of all,” Attorney General William P. Barr said. “We must bring the full force of the law against sexual predators, and with the help of our Internet Crimes Against Children program, we will. Over the span of just two months, our ICAC task forces investigated more than 18,000 complaints of internet-related abuse and helped arrest 1,700 alleged abusers. I would like to thank our Office of Justice Programs, all of the task force members, and especially the state and local partners who helped us achieve these important results. We are committed to bringing the defendants in these cases to justice and protecting every American child.”
The operation targeted suspects who: (1) produce, distribute, receive and possess child pornography; (2) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (3) engage in the sex trafficking of children; and (4) travel across state lines or to foreign countries and sexually abuse children.
The ICAC Program is funded through the Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) within the Office of Justice Programs (OJP). In 1998, OJJDP launched the ICAC Task Force Program to help federal, state and local law enforcement agencies enhance their investigative responses to offenders who use the internet, online communication systems or computer technology to exploit children.