ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Captain Alton Lenderman with the Angelina County Sheriff's Office said the internet has only made child predators more visible.
"They have always been there," Lenderman said. "It's always been a problem, but now with social media we are starting to track it and it is out front."
Over the weekend, the Angelina County Sheriff's Office conducted a sting on Robert Faulkner.
Sheriff Greg Sanches says his deputies arrested 21-year-old Robert Faulkner, who arranged to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex. Instead of the juvenile, the man meet ACSO undercover deputies.
Sanches said Saturday night their investigation began earlier in the week after the suspect was also identified as a suspect in a sexual assault of a child case currently under investigation .Faulkner was jailed Saturday night. His charges include two counts of online solicitation of a minor in Angelina County and three counts of sexual assault of a child in Sabine County.
Lenderman said the sting showed how easy sex crimes can happen.
"We have training in this and it is brought up, but I think now that it hits a little closer to home we are starting to realize there is a problem," Lenderman said.
According to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children, 3.3 million reported cases of sex crimes against children have been reported since 1998.
"A lot of them just wants to chat on the chat or talk,"Lenderman said. "They don't want to make contact because it is too dangerous. They get their satisfaction from playing this game with them. About 2 out of 10 will actually make the meet."
Child advocate Ashley Cook said the easiest way to prevent these crimes is to talk to your children.
"You need to start talking at a young age," Cook said. "These children now know how to use the Internet so we need to be talking to them. You can also monitor what devices are on the internet and when in your house."