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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Teens, chat, predators: 2 cases

It makes for tough reading for parents, because at the time of the crime the victim was 10 years old, but the details help us understand how these relatively rare cases of online predation happen. In most cases the child thinks s/he's going to meet someone who cares about him or her. According to the Toronto Star, the girl in this case "met" the perpetrator, Sergio Arana Martinez, 35, in an online chat room, saying she was 13. Within a month, "the relationship between the two evolved from chat rooms to emails to phone calls" to an encounter in Martinez's apartment, the Star reports. Arana Martinez was found guilty on three counts, faces two more unresolved charges of sexual assault, and will be sentenced later this month in Ontario Superior Court. For context on this, see "Rethinking 'stranger danger'" last June, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's take on this in "Non-stranger danger," and a link to the University of New Hampshire's Crimes Against Children Research Center's latest research on the subject. Thanks to BNA Internet Law for pointing the Toronto story out.


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