The U.S. Attorney For The District Of Montana Announces The National Strategy Fo
CHILD EXPLOITATION PREVENTION AND INTERDICTION.
Following an announcement today by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney for the District of Montana Michael W. Cotter announced that the U.S. Department of Justice released its first ever National Strategy for Child Exploitation Prevention and Interdiction. The National Strategy builds upon the Department's accomplishments in combating child exploitation as part of Project Safe Childhood, by establishing specific, aggressive goals and priorities and increasing cooperation and collaboration at all levels of government and the private sector.
The National Strategy provides the first ever comprehensive threat assessment of the dangers facing children from child pornography, online enticement, child sex tourism, commercial sexual exploitation, and sexual exploitation in Indian Country, and outlines a blueprint to strengthen the fight against these crimes. The data shows not only dramatic increases in the frequency of exploitation, but also an evolution in the violent character of the abuse, a trend toward younger victims, an increase in the proficiency of offenders, and a growing threat posed by those who would exploit children for commercial gain.
In four layers of goals, from the broad to the specific, the National Strategy calls on the Department to build on the exceptional efforts already underway nationally and to develop an even more robust approach to prevention and interdiction, ultimately reducing the incidence of the exploitation of children - and settling for nothing less. Some highlights of the strategy's next steps include:
- e U.S. Marshals Service is launching a nationwide operation targeting the top 500 most dangerous, non-compliant sex offenders in the nation.
- e Department will create a national database to allow federal, state, tribal, local and international law enforcement partners to deconflict their cases with each other, engage in undercover operations from a portal facilitated or hosted by the database, share information and intelligence and conduct analysis on dangerous offenders and future threats and trends.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana currently has 63 open child sexual exploitation cases. Since January of 2010, 23 defendants have been sentenced for child sexual exploitation cases; their sentences range from a low of 24 months to a high of 480 months, with the average sentence for all crimes of 124 months.
Montana's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Taskforce continues to actively work to protect Montana's children. The Taskforce includes representatives of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Montana, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (formerly U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement), the U.S. Postal Inspections Service (USPIS), as well as state and local agencies including the Montana Attorney General's Office and the Montana Department of Criminal Investigation (MDCI), the Billings Police Department, the Helena Police Department, law enforcement from Butte-Silverbow County, the Lake County Sheriff's Office, the Columbia Falls Police Department, the Cascade County Sheriff's Office, the Kalispell Police Department, the Flathead County Sheriff's Office, the Miles City Police Department, the Gallatin County Sheriff's Office, the Bozeman Police Department, the Missoula Police Department, the Whitefish Police Department, law enforcement from Anaconda-Deer Lodge, the Missoula County Sheriff's Office, the Dillon Police Department, the Lewistown Police Department and the Glendive Police Department.
Aside from the day-to-day law enforcement duties of ICAC members, the various participating government agencies have also continued to present Internet Safety training to various community members and school groups. From January to June of 2010, ICAC members made 112 presentations to over 6,100 people and have sponsored 36 public events attended by almost 1,500 people in Montana.
In response to the announcement of the National Strategy, U.S. Attorney Michael W. Cotter said, "The sexual exploitation of children is a blight on the State of Montana. The cooperative approach of the ICACs in Montana have resulted in successful federal prosecutions and significant prison sentences for convicted offenders. It is only with the continued support of local, state and federal law enforcement that our State's most precious resource - its children - can be protected from sexual predators."
For more information regarding the National Strategy to Combat Child Exploitation, Prevention and Interdiction, please visit the following website: www.projectsafechildhood.gov/docs/natstrategyreport.pdf.