AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced the arrest of five men for aggravated sexual assault with a minor from Schertz. The men contacted the 12-year-old girl through an Internet chatroom and arranged to meet her privately. The arrests result from a month long investigation by the Attorney General's office, Internet Child Pornography Prosecution Unit.
"While the Internet can be a useful tool for information and for shopping, it also can attract people who want to exploit and harm children. I will do everything I can to see that we take these criminals off the Internet and put them behind bars," Attorney General Cornyn said. "My office will continue to work with local law enforcement to see that our children are protected."
Between December 1999 and May 2000, the girl met the men in an Internet chatroom on Yahoo. In each of the five cases, messages were traded between the girl and the adult male which led up to a meeting and ended in sex. She eventually told her parents and contacted the Schertz Police Department. The police department then requested assistance from the Attorney General's office.
Three of the offenses occurred in Bexar County and two occurred in Guadalupe County. Those arrested include:
These cases will be presented to the offices of the Bexar County District Attorney and the Guadalupe County District Attorney for prosecution.
According to the Crimes Against Children Research Center, approximately one in five regular Internet users between the ages of 10 and 17 received a sexual solicitation or approach over the Internet in the last year. (www.missingkids.org) In recent years, the FBI's "cybermolester" caseload has increased more than 500 percent, and in 1999, they opened 1,500 separate cybermolester cases.
- 30 -