1. What is child sexual exploitation?
Child sexual exploitation can involve the following: Possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography; online enticement of children for sexual acts; child prostitution; child sex tourism and; child sexual molestation.
2. Is it against the law?
Yes, in 1999, the Wyoming Legislature passed the Sexual Exploitation of Children Act, W.S. 6-4-303. This law makes is illegal for anyone to: cause, induce, entice or coerce a child to engage in, or be used for in the making of child pornography, or any explicit sexual conduct; or to manufacture, generate, create, receive, distribute, reproduce or possess any child pornography. It may also be a violation of other Wyoming statues such as Sexual Assault, Incest, Child Endangerment as well as being a federal crime.
3. What is the penalty under state law?
A conviction under the Sexual Exploitation of Children statute is a felony punishable by up to (12) years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine and provides for the forfeiture of property and proceeds derived from the sexual exploitation of children.
4. Is this a problem in Wyoming?
The ICAC Team investigates more than 100 cyber crimes each year. The majority involve sexual exploitation of children related offenses. There were fifteen arrests made by the ICAC Team in Wyoming involving the sexual exploitation of children in 2011. These arrests involved travelers, distribution and possession of child pornography.
5. What is being done about this problem in Wyoming?
In May, 2000, the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation was awarded a federal grant from the United States Department of Justice for the Investigation of Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) . Wyoming is one of sixty-one ICAC Task Forces in the country funded through the Department of Justice. This grant is used to provide training to Wyoming investigators and prosecutors regarding child exploitation investigations and prosecutions, to assist with public awareness regarding this issue in Wyoming, and provide advanced technical training, software and equipment for combating Internet crimes involving children. The Wyoming ICAC Team continues to develop tools and techniques that are utilized worldwide to identify, investigate, and arrest predators.
6. What can I do?
Educate your children regarding the Internet. Know where your children are going on the Internet. Talk to your children about chat rooms and what are appropriate or inappropriate conversations in a chat room.
7. How can I report child sexual exploitation in Wyoming?
Report suspected child sexual exploitation to your local law enforcement agency, the Wyoming Department of Family Services, the National Cybertip line operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) at http://www.cybertipline.com/.