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Sex Offenders On Craigslist

A new warning tonight for parents, whose children spend any time on the Internet.

Like never before there are blatant efforts online to lure kids into a terrible world of pornography and abuse.

Fox 23’s Abbie Alford reports how sex offenders are targeting kids on the popular electronic classified website Craigslist and so are Tulsa Police.

Tulsa police say Myspace and Facebook are websites where the sex offender will lure the kids and then exploit the children by posting them on Craigslist.

The ads are classified as erotic services where men, women and now children are offering their services and Craigslist is a new market for child predators.

"If it's really popular that we've heard about it, then they've heard about it, kids have heard about it,” says Sgt. John Adams.

The director of the Tulsa chapter for Oklahomans Against Trafficking Humans says children as young as eleven-years-old are exploited by sellers, buyers and sex offenders on Craigslist.

"These predators are driving, they are on the demand side of this. They are driving the market and they are wanting younger and younger people for their sexual service," says Mark Elam.

The Tulsa Police Exploitation Unit says it’s monitoring sex offenders on Craigslist by cross-checking its sex offender registry with those who are posting erotic ads.

Currently, Tulsa Police say there are 337 registered sex offenders in Tulsa.

"They'll post pictures of themselves but they'll be fishing and will use whatever words to get that child's attention," says Adams.

Buzz words such as “Barely Legal", "Daddy’s Little Girl" and "Teen” are warning signs police say parents need to watch for on the website.

Police also say “Cougar” describing an older woman who may be seeking a relationship with a younger teen or boy.

"Yeah you look at that ‘Cougar’ and that is going to get any young males attention, he's going to look at that and that is going to draw him right in," says Adams.

They are blatant, online ads with a target that’s getting younger and younger.

“They are marketing children, 11,12,13,13 being the average, they're hardly, many are hardly developed yet. They are very young and they look like children," says Elam.

Tulsa police say here’s one way to keep sex offenders away from kids:

Parents if you’re suspicious of the person your child is talking to online all you have to do is call Tulsa Police.

It’s not open record but the Exploitation Unit will cross-check the online screen name with the sex offenders who have registered their online information with police.

Under a new federal law, it’s a felony and a maximum ten-year prison sentence if a registered sex offender fails to register their online information with police.

Police also urge parents to install software that will block and filter pornography and elicit information online.

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Added: Apr-24-2009 Occurred On: Apr-24-2009
By: SexOffenderIssues
Tags: craigslist, sex offender, sexual offender,
Views: 12537 | Comments: 11 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 1 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 1
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