Cyber Crimes Increasing - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

05/22/06 - Lufkin

Cyber Crimes Increasing

by Jessica Cervantez

"My Space" and "Facebook" are two of the more popular social networking web sites. But, users need to be careful. Police are finding a lot of people soliciting sex from minors on the Internet.

20-year-old Benjamin David, of Katy, was arrested after traveling 20 miles to meet a child for sex.  24-year-old Weston Starks, of Houston, was arrested for trying to arrange to have sex with a young teen. And, 27-year-old John David Payne, was arrested, not once, but twice, for soliciting sex from a 13-year-old.

Lufkin police are working on a case of their own.

Detective Otis Almond, of the Lufkin Police Department, said, "The suspect is from Lufkin, the victim is from another state.  We believe the victim is under the age of thirteen, but we haven't confirmed that yet."

Most East Texas school districts are not taking any chances. They now have filtering systems to keep kids from using web sites not related to their schoolwork. But, adults can also help.

Lufkin Middle School Principal Vicki Evans said, "The best filtering system is the human filtering system.  Teachers need to monitor the students to make sure they're on appropriate web sites, the same thing goes for parents at home."

Keeping kids safe from online predators is a priority for law enforcement, parents, and schools. But, it's a job that's becoming more difficult.
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