FBI shares tips to keep Louisville children safe from online predators | Crime Reports | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — LMPD said the number of internet crimes against children has nearly quadrupled compared to this time last year.

A recent high-profile case involves the FBI, after a local teacher was accused of Photoshopping pictures of students onto child porn. While this happened at St. Stephen Martyr Catholic School, officials said predators can target anyone online.

“Images can be widely distributed beyond their control,” Kimberly Milka, a supervisory special agent with the FBI, said. “That’s something that they could never get back.”

The internet changed the world forever. Cell phones and laptops allow people have an unlimited amount of information at their fingertips. However, intentions aren’t always pure, as Artificial Intelligence now blurs the lines between real and fake photos or videos.

“It used to be that they would have something weird like six fingers or six toes, so you could pretty easily identify it was not an actual image,” Milka said. “Nowadays, it’s more difficult to determine that.”

This issue is taking center stage as the FBI investigates 39-year-old Jordan Fautz for allegedly creating child porn. Federal investigators say the part-time religion teacher had a folder with 115 photos of local teenage girls. It was a combination of real and manipulated pictures, and in some cases the girls’ real names were used. 

Court records indicate this happened when Fautz taught seventh and eighth grade religion classes at the school. Police began investigating him after he allegedly sent explicit images to a law enforcement officer who was working online.

Milka said it’s possible for anyone to have their pictures edited without their consent.

“It could be people that they don’t know,” Milka said. “But definitely people that they know either from community, school.”

As of Feb. 9, LMPD has investigated seven cases of online crimes against children since 2024 started. This time last year, officers only had two cases.

By the end of 2023 LMPD investigators had looked into 266 complaints of crimes against children over the internet. 

“This is a constantly evolving violation,” Milka said 

The FBI recommends using the acronym SMART to help remember best practices for keeping children safe online. 

When it comes to child internet usage officials warn parents to be S.M.A.R.T.:

  • S – Set-up: devices, accounts and passwords.
  • M – Monitor: online use and friend requests
  • A – Approve: games and apps
  • R – Restrict: content
  • T – with kids about online safety

“Technology is always changing,” Milka said. “I think it is very difficult for parents to keep up with it.”

Milka also wants children to be about what they post, make sure privacy settings are in use, and be selective about who they accept friend requests from, because what goes online stays there forever.

“If you wouldn’t show it to your mom, your dad or your best friend, then maybe don’t put it out there for somebody else to see,” Milka said. 

Fautz will be back in court later this month. The FBI asks anyone with information about potential victims to reach out by emailing: [email protected].

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children created the Take It Down website to get explicit pictures or videos of minors removed from websites.

Related Stories:

Copyright 2024 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.

Source link


Click Here For The Original Source.

National Cyber Security