United States In a chilling case that shows the extent of child sex abusers’ obsession and dedication to gaining access to children, a man in the United States in prison, already serving a 23-year sentence for molesting girls, was found to be trading child pornography over the Internet. He was using a computer inside the prison to compile a large database of information on thousands of children living in Minnesota, USA. The list included the addresses and physical descriptions of 2,000 children. The information was sent outside the prison by email.63 From inside the minimum-security prison at Lino Lakes, Minnesota, George Chamberlain, 57, was the manager of Insight, Inc., a non-profit computer programming firm. By using an Internet connection, he obtained 287 pornographic pictures of children from contacts in Mexico, India and the United States. He had access to sophisticated computer equipment, such as writeable CD-ROMs, on which he stored his illegal material under the password, “They cannot commit me.” George Chamberlain was sentenced to an additional seven years and three months in a federal prison for possessing and conspiring to trade child pornography over the Internet. He will not be allowed access to computers or the Internet while in prison. 64
Predators who form rings to exchange child pornography sometimes transmit and view live broadcasts of the sexual abuse of children. These rings use several modes of communication and transmission over the Internet and use the latest high tech equipment. They usually set membership requirements that require the new member to implicate himself as a child sex abuser, pornographer or collector of child pornography. Using the new technology of live videoconferencing, sex predators from around the world can witness the live sexual abuse of a child and record the broadcast for future use.
The following are descriptions of child pornography and prostitution rings that have been uncovered and broken up by police. The efforts often required more international cooperation among law enforcement officials and agencies than had ever been attempted or completed before. Prior to mid-1997, there were three international police operations, Operation Longarm and Innocent Images from the United States and Operation Starburst from Great Britain, that investigated child pornography rings using the Internet. 65
In 1996, a 10 year old girl told her mother that she had been sexually abused by her friend’s father while spending the night at her friend’s house. Upon investigation, the police found sophisticated computer equipment for live broadcasting to the Internet. The man had sexually abused the girl and turned it into “live pornography.” After a further investigation, the police found more files containing pornography. The police had discovered The Orchid Club, which engaged in live Internet transmission of sexual abuse of children, ranging in age from five to ten years. In one night’s activity, a 5-year old somewhere in the Mid-western United States was molested while at least 11 men watched and asked for specific types of abuse to be perpetrated.66 In this case, initially in 1996, sixteen men were indicted for their involvement in the Internet based conspiracy to produce pornographic images and videotapes. Some of the images, made using digital cameras connected directly to computers, were sent over the Internet to Orchid Club members in nine states and four countries. Members exchanged child pornography and recounted their sexual abuse of children using a password-restricted, electronic chat