After nine months of hard work, the Attorney General of New Jersey announced at a recent press conference that 79 men throughout the United States have been arrested in connection with an investigation into sex offenders and human trafficking using online resources to connect.
Below our attorneys report on this incident. If you or a loved one are a victim and would like to explore a sex trafficking lawsuit against those responsible, then contact us.
Operation Safety Net
According to the Attorney General, during the investigation, the team was able to use a new mobile forensics lab and an electronics sniffing dog which helped to find the evidence needed to put the alleged offenders behind bars.
Included in the information released by his office, the charges against the offenders include Attempted Interstate Child Sex Trafficking, Sexual Assault, Luring, Manufacturing Child Pornography, Conveying Obscene Material to a Child, and Possession of Child Pornography.
The very first man pictured on the list of offenders released is George Castillo who alleged contacted undercover investigators who he thought would provide him with children who he could then perform sex acts with. After discussing his “options” with the undercover investigators, he drove to the Los Angeles International Airport with a stuffed animal and numerous sex toys where he believed he would be picking up a 4-year-old and a 9-year-old. Instead of meeting children, he was instead met by arresting officers.
Another man, Joseph Donohew, paid $100 as a “downpayment” to an undercover officer who he thought was the father of a 9-year-old girl he would be allowed to have sex with.
The Attorney General called the sexual exploitation of children as a “horrific problem” and indicated that the issue doesn’t appear to be subsiding.
Sexual Predators Can Be Anywhere
Of the offenders, one was a Trenton police officer, one a captain in the Air Force, another a piano teacher, and three were brothers who were working together highlighting how important it is for parents to monitor their children’s online interactions and to note any changes in their behavior which could indicate a serious issue – because sexual predators lurk everywhere.
The case’s connection to New Jersey is also important. Since many of the men had connections to New Jersey, or were residents of the state, their cases may be able to take advantage of a new statute of limitations passed by New Jersey’s legislature in May 2018. Under the new law, sexual abuse survivors in New Jersey are now granted even more time in which to file private civil lawsuits against their abusers.
Locations & Communities Where Child Sexual Abuse Is Common
Although no one wants to ever wants to think of sexual abuse of a child as “common”, unfortunately, this is sometimes the case. Arenas, where child abuse has frequently been discovered, include:
It doesn’t matter what the religion is, the fact is that sexual predators often use their position of power in a religious setting to obtain access to children. For example, thousands of lawsuits have been filed by the victims of Catholic priests and investigations have uncovered evidence that high ranking church officials simply ignored reports or moved priests around to cover up the ongoing sexual assaults.
It seems like nearly every day on the news there is a report indicating that another teacher has been discovered having a sexual relationship with one of their students. In many cases, the affair is discovered when a parent becomes aware of inappropriate contact made through a social media account.
Camps are supposed to help provide children with learning experiences outside of school and a new platform through which they can make friends. But sexual predators that the children come into contact with use these organizations as a hunting ground, often acting as counselors or teachers.
What Should Parents Look Out For?
Even if parents take every precaution, bad things still happen to innocent children. It’s important to remember that even adults have a difficult time talking about what has happened to them so parents can’t expect their child to just open up, even if they have a close relationship.
Often, a child will begin to hint at what is happening to test the waters and gauge the reactions they get from the adult. Other signs that parents should look out for may include:
- Sudden Mood Swings
- Sudden Knowledge Of Sexual Activities
- Changes In Eating Habits
If you suspect your child is being abused, take action to make sure it stops immediately and to make sure other children aren’t harmed.
Our Legal Team Can Help
Our experienced lawyers are here to make sure that victims and their loved ones get the support they need during this time – emotional, physical, and monetary support. Even though the police will help to press criminal charges and punish the person responsible, it won’t help recover compensation. That’s where we come in.
A civil lawsuit filed against the responsible party can help provide compensation but is best pursued with the help of an attorney who fully understands this type of law. To learn more about how we assist our clients, contact us now.