A common convenience is now being abused to get and distribute child porn, and it's a problem happening more often right here in Oklahoma. Just a few years ago public Wi-Fi was not offered like it is today, but now pedophiles have taken advantage of the service, and it's something that's becoming more common.
When you think of child porn, you think of something despicable, hidden and behind closed doors, but nowadays it's happening in public and maybe even right next to you without you even knowing. Predators have now turned to public Wi-Fi.
“If you go back just a few years very few companies provided free Wi-Fi, but when that started happening, predators started taking advantage of that,” Assistant US Attorney Jeff Gallant said.
It's not just pictures or crude images of children.
“A lot of these images depict the actual torture and sexual abuse and rape of very, very small children,” Gallant said.
One of the most recent Oklahoma cases involved Kenneth Morain, who was sentenced to 17 years for sharing more than 33,000 pornographic images and videos of children. He did it all using public Wi-Fi while sitting in the parking lots of local businesses which makes it even harder for authorities to track. It's a dark world, but one the internet has united by sharing files and making this kind of lifestyle seem OK to predators.
“There might only be a few handfuls of those people in the world, but they can connect with them and stay connected with them all the time, and it almost normalized their behavior.”
Once confined, but now predators have taken their laptops or phones to parking lots and businesses, and prosecutors said it doesn't always stop there.
“The vast majority in my experience of people involved in child pornography are sexually attracted to children,” Gallant said. “When you're sexually attracted to children you have a tendency to act out.”
Prosecutors said people who seek out and distribute child porn are just as guilty as those who make it.