A wave of child-pornography arrests in St. Charles Parish raises worrisome questions about the link between the obscene material and the sexual abuse of children, and concerned parents want to know: “Are our children safe?”
The answer, says Sheriff Greg Champagne is, “We are always working with state and federal agents to make sure that we have the best resources available to protect all of our citizens, child and adult.”
The sheriff went on to say that when it comes to protecting parish children from sexual predators, his department and other law enforcement agencies working in the community stand on their record.
Officers have, in fact, arrested six men on charges related to child pornography in the first nine months of 2006 alone.
The latest bust came on Sept. 8 when sheriff’s deputies arrested and charged a Des Allemands man with nine counts of child pornography.
It is reported that John R. Tyler, 28, of 17305 U.S. Hwy 90 in Des Allemands was taken into custody after officers searched and found nine digital pornography files stored on a rented computer.
Digital pornography files can be still photographs or video images of sexual acts.
Tyler, who is being held on a $75,000 bond, ended his lease with a local rent-to-own company. A manager for the company later notified the sheriff’s department and told them he had found child pornography on the machine.
The child pornography related arrests in the area spark the question of whether or not there is any relation between the people who view this x-rated material and those who sexually abuse children.
As one concerned parent put it, “Six arrests seem like a lot in such a small and quiet parish. Are people who download these files a danger to children? Do they act out on their fantasies or do they keep to themselves?”
The answer to that question is controversial, but the Herald Guide addresses it head on from a conservative perspective in a companion piece to this report headlined, ‘Link between obscenity & sexual abuse of children is real, say experts.’
For the record, and in the interest of fairness, Tyler is not being held on any charges relating to child abuse or pedophilia.
However, even forgetting the child-pornography arrests that have shaken the community, it is reported that no fewer than 55 registered sex offenders, eight having been convicted of molestation of a juvenile, are living in St. Charles Parish towns.
According to the sheriff’s web site, Luling has the most with a total of 12 registered offenders. Good Hope comes in last with zero.
Other cities rank as follows: Boutte-4, Paradis-3, Des Allemands-9, Hahnville-6, Montz-1, Ama-1, Norco-2, New Sarpy-2, Destrehan-4, St. Rose-10 and Killona-1.
Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia, describes a sex offender as being a person who has been criminally charged and convicted of, or has pled guilty to, a sex crime, and these crimes can range from the molestation of a juvenile to simple rape.
All of the parish’s child pornography arrests, according to sheriff’s reports, consisted of still or video images that were downloaded from the Internet. None of the suspects have been accused of or charged with sexual assault, official reports confirm.
According to Family Safe Media, a conservative watchdog group in Oklahoma, there are about 42 million search engine requests made for child pornography each year with 100,000 web sites offering illegal child pornography to anyone who with a home computer and a connection.
Both federal and state laws are in place and are designed to protect children from the dangers of pedophiles and internet predators, but with the porn industry raking in an estimated $57 billion dollars worldwide annually, it seems as though, says one Boutte resident, “The fight against child pornography is not going to end anytime soon, not at home, not abroad.”
To learn about sexual predators in your area, visit www.stcharlessheriff.org, and for more information on pornography statistics and laws, log on to www.familysafemedia.com.
Questions? Comments?, email Heather R. Breaux at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|John Tyler, 28, Des Allemands was the sixth person arrested and charged with child pornography this year. As with all arrests, those charged are innocent until proved guilty.|