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USVI man pleads guilty to possession of CP

| June 22, 2008 at 02:08 pm

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands – A 35-year-old predator pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography charges here today after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigation.

ICE special agents took Bradley Douglas Highbarger, of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands (USVI) in custody in July 2006 after a search warrant of his residence led to the seizure of his computer. A subsequent forensic analysis of the seized material revealed approximately 78 video clips and more than 30 images containing explicit images of child pornography.

In his guilty plea, Highbarger admitted to using a peer-to-peer software program to receive an illegal video and a separate illegal image in July 2006. Peer-to-peer networks allow users connected to the Internet to link their computers with other computers around the world and share information and files.


Arrest of Internet predator in Washington County

| at 02:02 pm

CANONSBURG – Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit have arrested a Lawrence County man accused of using the Internet to sexually proposition what he believed was a 13-year-old girl. The “girl” was actually an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit who was using the online profile of a child.maloni

Corbett identified the defendant as Leroy Maloni, 69, 3511 State Route 208, Apt. 4, New Wilmington.

Corbett said that Maloni allegedly used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent on May 14, 2008, asking her detailed questions about her physical appearance, her manner of schooling and what she liked to do for “fun.”

Corbett said that Maloni allegedly continued to contact the girl online, eventually escalating the tone of the conversations and repeatedly expressing his desire to meet her for sex.

According to the criminal complaint, Maloni made arrangements to meet with the child at a place to be determined in Canonsburg on June 17, 2008 at around 10:00 am.


Cuba deports U.S. fugitive charged with sex crimes

| June 16, 2008 at 09:24 am

HAVANA, Cuba (CNN) — The Cuban government has handed over to U.S. authorities a California man facing federal child sex crime charges, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said Friday.

Leonard B. Auerbach, 61, an Orinda, California, mortgage broker, was deported Friday to the United States, the ministry said in a statement.

Auerbach was believed to have entered Cuba on April 8. He was detained May 7 at the request of American officials.

Auerbach faces charges of child sex tourism and possession of child pornography and was named to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s list of most wanted fugitives in April. Authorities said he traveled to Costa Rica about 40 times between 2003 and 2007, where he allegedly engaged in sex with a preteen girl.

Police executing search warrants found computers and thumb drives featuring pictures of Auerbach “with a minor female in various stages of undress” as well as sexually explicit photos of the girl, an ICE statement said, citing court documents.

Such cooperation is unusual — but not unheard of — between Cuba and the United States. No extradition treaty exists between the two nations.

The government of Cuba said it deported Auerbach because of its commitment to combating sex crimes.

Teachers held in Australian child porn sting

| June 5, 2008 at 06:19 pm

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) — Australian police have arrested 70 people and removed four children from their homes as part of a six-month nationwide investigation of a global child pornography network, police said Thursday.

Twenty other people have been summoned to appear in court. All 90 — including a police officer and several teachers — face charges of accessing images of children being abused on the Internet, police said.

Australian Federal Police Commissioner Mick Keelty said the Interpol-led investigation was conducted simultaneously by law enforcement authorities in 170 countries. Further arrests are expected, he said.

It was one of the largest child pornography investigations in Australian history, police said. (more…)

Child abuse suspect on run in Brazil

| June 4, 2008 at 07:45 pm

RabbinA fugitive Israeli who is considered to be the ringleader of, and “spiritual mentor” responsible for, one of the worst child abuse cases in Israeli history has fled to Brazil, police said Thursday, after the lifting of a court-imposed gag order.

The mother of eight indicted for child abuse, left, and “rabbi” Elior Chen, suspected of being her mentor.

Rabbi Elior Chen, 29, and his followers are suspected of severely abusing two children, ages three and four, who were beaten with hammers, knives and other implements for months, until the younger child lost consciousness in March.

They are also suspected of the severely abusing other children in the family.

The three-year-old suffered permanent brain damage as a result of the abuse he suffered at the hands of his mother and her companions, according to an indictment filed in a Jerusalem court.

He is expected to remain in a vegetative state for the rest of his life.

Chen originally flew from Israel to Canada to avoid arrest after police uncovered the abuse, then immediately continued to Brazil.

Brazilian police are still searching for Chen, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. (more…)

Internet porn network uncovered in Spain

| June 3, 2008 at 04:29 am

MADRID, Spain (AP) — Spanish police have detained 55 people suspected of running an Internet child pornography racket.

A National Police statement Tuesday says those arrested include university students, high school teachers, architects and civil servants.

Police say they have confiscated some 180 hard disks in the raids carried out over the past month across Spain.

The detained are suspected of creating, buying and swopping child pornography videos via the Internet.