Crime

Feds Successfully Target Customers of Child Prostitutes

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NEW YORK, NY -- According to a December 18 news release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Kansas City, seven defendants have been convicted "in the nation's first-ever federal prosecution of the alleged customers of child prostitution under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act." The release continued, "While the pimps...have been prosecuted...elsewhere, these indictments are the first in the nation to charge a 'John' with attempting to pay for sex with a child."

In a December 12 AP story, "Feds take aim at customers of child prostitution," Matt Whitworth, acting U.S. Attorney in Kansas City, stated, "We became aware of the alarming market for child sex trafficking while successfully prosecuting cases of child prostitution. As we obtained convictions against the pimps..., we realized an aggressive strategy was needed to attack this issue on all fronts." According to the story, other federal districts are "now successfully following the same strategy."

Morality in Media president Robert Peters had the following comments:

"The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri is to be commended for initiating an effort to target not just the pimps who prey on children for commercial purposes but also the 'Johns' who pay for sex with children. Sexual exploitation of children in prostitution is an abhorrent evil that must be fought 'on all fronts' if it is to be fought successfully.

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"But there is one 'front' in the battle against child prostitution that federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies continue to ignore. Despite overwhelming evidence that the proliferation of hardcore adult pornography on the Internet and elsewhere is contributing to sexual exploitation of children in general and child prostitution in particular, the U.S. Justice Department from 2000 to 2008 refused to devote more that token resources to combating the pernicious obscenity evil. Since the 2008 presidential election, the Justice Department has not initiated any new obscenity cases.

"In September, Morality in Media issued a report entitled, "How Adult Pornography Contributes to Sexual Exploitation of Children." The evidence compiled in this 40-page report (supplemented by 175 pages of appendices) shows among other things that 'Johns' act out what they view in adult pornography with child prostitutes and that pimps use adult pornography to instruct child prostitutes."

The report with appendices is posted at Morality in Media's www.obscenitycrimes.org website ('Porn Problem & Solutions' and 'Help for Parents' pages).