When Law Enforcement is the Perpetrator
Last Thanksgiving I posted Police Trading in Child Rape & Torture profiling nearly 70 local and state police officers arrested on child pornography charges.
My research was out of date almost as soon as I hit publish. A year later, an update is necessary.
As I am self-funded, conducting a year-long study of all local and state police arrested on child porn charges has not been possible. Instead, I looked at just one month. More than two officers per week have been in the news for child porn arrests in November — not including arrests of federal law enforcement.
The Associated Press (AP) recently published a year-long investigation of police officers disciplined for sex crimes including trade in child rape often called child pornography. This summer FBI Assistant Director Joseph Campbell announced there is an epidemic of child sex trafficking and pedophilia in America.
All too often it is men in positions of authority, including far too many in law enforcement, engaged in this crime. How many police in America have been arrested for participating in child sex trafficking? No one knows because, like police fatalities, the US government has not been collecting the data.
Let me say clearly, while there are many dedicated law enforcement for whom I have tremendous respect (especially those who investigate crimes of child rape) the arrests I’ve reviewed are deeply concerning.
Two trends are clearly apparent.
First, many police are being caught exchanging infant and toddler rape.
One example is Captain David Bourque in Connecticut with more than
328,528 images/4,000 videos, including “sadistic and violent acts” against infants and toddlers and more than 300 folders named “photos — babies — men” and “6–10yo boys pics.”
Another example is Sergeant Jonathan Gamson in Tampa, Florida who possessed at least one baby rape, a “little girl was bound and blindfolded and then photographed while someone sexually assaulted her” and “little girl who was “hung by her wrists from the ceiling.” Investigators said the images, dating to 2006, are “sadistic” and “horrific.”
He was Officer of the Year in 2011.
Second, many law enforcement leadership are being arrested.
Such as Chief Robert Geist, the “number one possessor and distributor of child porn” in Pennsylvania, caught sending images/videos including “6Yo babyj — Bedtime rape.” Geist received no jail time.
Or former Maine State Police Chief Andrew Demers, charged with child sex abuse of his four year old granddaughter.
Demers was sentenced to five years, one of which was suspended. He served 26 years with the Maine State Police and was chief from 1987 to 1993. In 2003, Demers, the most decorated officer in state police history, was named a “Legendary Trooper.”
Then there is Chief Brian Fanelli, of Mount Pleasant, New York, arrested in January 2014, who plead guilty to child porn charges in July 2015. Fanelli had images/videos of children as young as seven. Other videos included 10 and 12 year old girls
engaged in sex acts and a video called “10 y touch pussy webcam.”
Here is a sample, not at all comprehensive, of other local and state law enforcement in the news in November 2015 for trading in child rape and torture:
• On 17 November retired Detective Brent Vanderhaar, from Saginaw Police Department in Michigan, was arrested and charged with eight felony counts related to child pornography. He had over 100,000 images of two victims.
• On 16 November, William Walker’s, Information Officer and former School
Resource Officer for Fairfax County Police Department in Virginia, child pornography trial was continued until February 2016.
• On 10 November Sergeant Carlos Alberto Martinez, formerly with Monroe Police Department in Washington State, was found guilty of “secretly videotaping a teenage babysitter” when she showered. He also molested her. Martinez met the girl when she was ten years old and in his drug-abuse resistance class in elementary school.
• On 9 November Sergeant Kyle Adam Kirby, Live Oak Police in Florida, was in court on child pornography charges that included a video in a known series called Baby J and searches for “10Yo Girl PTCH Alicia,” “My 10Yo Daughter,” “PTHC 5Yo.” PTHC is pre-teen hard core indicating brutal violence and rape.
• On 6 November, Richard Tucker, a Phoenix, Arizona police officer, was charged with eight counts of sexual exploitation of a minor resulting from images found in his possession after his arrest for domestic violence.
• On 4 November, Corporal Joe Cummings of Denton County, Texas was sentenced to 12.5 years for hundreds of images/videos of child rape including “prepubescent minors and sadistic and masochistic abuse.” Cummings was a police officer for 18 years. He was caught when he posted child porn on Twitter.
- On 4 November University of North Dakota (UND) campus police officer,
What can be done?
Three actions could immediately prevent law enforcement’s involvement in child sex trafficking.
First, law enforcement officers should be required to sign consent forms allowing random searches of their government issued electronics for child pornography.
Second, all law enforcement agencies should purchase software, like
NetClean, that monitors network activity and reports attempts to trade in child rape to child exploitation law enforcement.
Third, a public database, like Data4Justice, must be available to inform the public of law enforcement agencies with histories of child porn arrests.
What happens when the police officer is the perpetrator?
Children’s lives are destroyed and public trust is broken. These are real children being brutalized in these videos and images. Maybe even your child.
Help the good cops police the bad.
Ask your local police department to take immediate steps to prevent their employees from engaging in the trade of child rape.
This Thanksgiving help stop America’s child sex trafficking epidemic.
Dr. Lori Handrahan runs the start-up organization Data4Justice.org and is working on her forthcoming book, Child Porn Nation: America’s Hidden National Security Risk. Her Ph.D. is from The London School of Economics. She can be reached on Twitter @LoriHandrahan2