out of school illegally. Three months prior to this incident he had contacted two girls from Massachusetts, ages 13 and 14, in a chat room in an attempt to get them to meet him in a mall and go to a hotel room. He said he would bring alcohol and pay them to engage in sexual acts with him. The girls became frightened when he called them and told them he was coming to get them. They refused to go and told their parents. Fiore was angry and verbally abusive to the girls’ parents on the phone. Later that day he sent one of the girls an email message, “You pissed the wrong person off, playing your little game Jew Girl!!!! Watch you [sic] back!” 93
International Travel by Predators
Some predators are willing to travel long distances to carry out the abuse they initiate over the Internet. Many will travel across oceans and cross borders to meet children.
In the fall of 1996 children from Sri Lanka, as young as 5-years of age, were being offered for sale to pedophiles over the Internet. More than 600 new entries per day were appearing on a Web site for child sex abusers. Sri Lanka has become a haven for men seeking to sexually abuse children, especially boys. An estimated 10,000 to 12,000 children are currently being sexually exploited in Sri Lanka. The government has tried to discourage child prostitution tourism by raising the age of consent from 12 to 16 and increasing the prison sentences for those convicted of sex offenses, but one year after the
law was passed, there had been no arrests.94
Santosh Ramcharan from The Hague,
Netherlands traveled to
Washington, D.C, USA to met a 14-year-old girl. When her parents reported her missing she was found the next day in a hotel with Ramcharan. They made initial contact over the Internet. 95
A wealthy man from Oregon, USA persuaded a 12-year-old boy from British Columbia, Canada to take money, jewelry and his father’s passport and run away from home and meet him across the border in Seattle. The boy’s father caught him going out the door. Donald Roberts, 59, attempted to lure the boy from a computer on his sailboat moored in the Columbia River. He was charged with attempted kidnapping and solicitation to commit sodomy. 96
Stings-US Police Undercover Operations Against Predators
Predators use various forums on the Internet to communicate with each other and exchange illegal material or gain physical access to children for the purposes of abusing and exploiting them. Although predators have had a lead in technological expertise and equipment, by the mid-1990s some law enforcement agencies were starting to catch-up.
In 1995 the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched a crackdown called Innocent Images. The operation was created after a 10-year-old boy was lured from his home and killed in Maryland in 1993. His murder was traced to his communications to someone over the Internet. In September 1995, US federal agents raided 120 homes and offices, arresting dozens of people in a large operation against online pornography. The