07/01/05 — Get ’em! Internet exploiters of kids targeted

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Get ’em! Internet exploiters of kids targeted

Many of today’s youngsters are proficient users of the Internet. For some, it seems to be almost as addictive as television.

It should not have been surprising that sexual predators were quick to seize on the Internet as a means to reach potential victims.

Not infrequently, we read or hear of instances in which children have been lured into relationships — electronic or physical — with predators they met through the Internet.

A measure recently passed by the General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Mike Easley is aimed at curbing such abhorrent practices.

The Child Exploitation Prevention Act makes it a felony to solicit sex from anyone believed to be a child. Note the term “believed to be a child.”

Under the law, that could include a law enforcement officer pretending on the Internet to be a child.

A person convicted of attempted sexual exploitation on the Internet could be sent to prison. In the past, this has been a misdemeanor.

No doubt we will see someone charged with this crying “entrapment.” It surely is far less so than having a shapely female cop wriggling seductively down the street in a revealing skirt to lure some fellow into propositioning her.

As for people who would use the Internet to sexually exploit children — any way to intercept and jail the creeps should be welcomed by the public.

Published in Editorials on July 1, 2005 10:39 AM