Is Child Porn Ubiquitous?

May 17, 2008

My reading of child porn news reports seems endless. Sometimes I think I’m one of the few men in the world not collecting child porn. That feeling was reinforced today when I read this story from the United Kingdom.

An expert hired to set up the Government’s £10 million database of violent sex offenders has been jailed for almost three years for distributing child pornography.

Vincent Barron, 50, a senior probation service manager, was seconded to the Home Office ViSOR project because of his expert knowledge of offenders. He helped set up a national computer database containing the details and photos of more than 60,000 of the most dangerous criminals, including 25,000 registered sex offenders.

At Durham Crown Court he was jailed for 33 months after admitting 21 charges of distributing indecent images and one charge of possessing 3,800 indecent images.

More details are here and here and here.

Every day I hear of police or clergy or teachers or coaches or lawyers arrested or sentenced on child porn charges. And now a man with “expert knowledge of offenders” who was working on a government database of offenders turns out to be an offender himself. How fitting. I guess Mr. Barron will soon be listed in the very database he helped create.

The Journal story is a good example of lies, myths, doublespeak, and shoddy journalism in action. It quotes the judge in Barron’s case as saying “Each image represents a child being often horribly sexually abused” yet the same article states that only two of the 3,800 images were of the most serious (category 5 – ‘sadism or bestiality’) while “the majority of the images – 2,798 – were of the least serious type” (category 1 – ‘erotic poses’).

Incidents like this make me suspicious of other self-proclaimed child porn expects such as Ernie Allen of NCMEC’s , John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted, and Andrew Vachss, author of novels featuring themes of sexually abused children. These three men share a willingness to perpetuate lies, myths, doublespeak, and shoddy journalism about child porn. I have long-term plans to write more about each of these men in the future.

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