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Local FBI sees shift in type of child porn cases | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — After a number of high-profile child pornography cases in the Rochester area, the local FBI office told News 8 it’s seeing more cases involving people producing child porn through relationships built with minors on social media platforms.

Such is the allegation made against 6th-grade Spencerport teacher Ian Milam, 37, of Pittsford, who is accused of using Snapchat to pose as a high school student and solicit sexually explicit images from minors.


Chris Fiorito runs the FBI’s Child Exploitation and Human Trafficking Task Force and says it wasn’t that long ago a bulk of their child porn cases came from straight possession cases where people would trade images and videos on the internet.

“We’re definitely seeing a shift … to production cases where the child predator operating on Snapchat and these various social media accounts are targeting youth and they’re reaching them in different ways,” Fiorito says.

He adds many predators will make initial contact with a minor through a video game chat then move them over to a platform where it’s easier to conceal a conversation and transfer photos and videos.

Fiorito says they find most people they arrest didn’t solicit images until months into the relationship adding they often didn’t have just one victim.

“They’re setting up accounts, they’re portraying themselves at minors and they’re using that as an in,” Fiorito says. “Once they can kind of get into one group, that becomes their bona fides, then they start talking to other groups.”

This trend, Fiorito says, has resulted in more reports from parents to local police departments.

Even though FBI agents are often given a username and platform, the investigation from there isn’t usually an easy one.

“Our subject is taking to steps to hide their identity, in the case of the last few you’ve seen, higher-profile ones in Rochester,” Fiorito said. “So there’s really just some good investigative that happens, sort of following the trail, looking for that one errant log-in that provides us with an IP address or maybe a phone number or something they said during the chats will help lead us to that person.”

It’s during the investigation, the FBI will likely find out whether the target holds a position of trust, like in a school or other organization with easy access to kids.

“As soon as we realize we’re dealing with someone who’s a teacher, somebody who’s a healthcare professional, something of that nature, any position of trust, that’s a huge read flag and for us and that case goes to the top of the pile,” Fiorito says.

According to Fiorito, this shift should further encourage parents to consistently check their children’s interactions on social media and through video games.



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