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Home  >  Topics  >  Investigations

June 30, 2000
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Pornographers Not Always Who You?d Expect

INDIANAPOLIS ?Two recent arrests of cyber pornographers proves once again that you can?t always predict who will be involved in even the most disgusting of crimes. In Indianapolis, the Indiana State Police received a tip that a suspicious ad had been posted on a chat room. The person placing the ad described himself as a 36-year-old man seeking a relationship with a female teen. Although he did not know it at the time, the person who responded was not a teenager but an undercover Indiana State Trooper. Being very careful not to use entrapping verbiage, the trooper continued to conduct a conversation with the man until the man propositioned the trooper via e-mail. The e-mail message led to a phone call, which was answered by a female civilian employee of the police. Soon, the calls turned into solicitations for a sexual relationship and a meeting was set up in Indianapolis. ?The target thought he was reeling in a new fish,? said First Sergeant David Bursten, an ISP public information officer, ?but what he got was a barracuda with a badge.? The perpetrator turned out to be a volunteer basketball coach who worked with 7th- and 8th-grade girls. In a related story, Diane Ross, the chairman of the English Department at Lake Forest College was indicted by a grand jury on 13-counts of sending child pornography over the Internet. The extremely graphic sexual material Ross posted was first detected by authorities who seized the computer of a San Bernadino, California, man and traced the material back to Ross. Ross faces up to 15 years in prison and the certainty that her teaching career will be over.






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