Online Child And Adult Sexual Exploitation Leads To Other Crimes

A judge sentenced Sean Fiore, 38, of Burlington, Vermont, to 27 years in prison for paying a woman in Venezuela to make videos for his sexual pleasure.

The videos showed victims being sadistically abused. At least one video showed a victim being tortured and killed on his orders and pursuant to a "script" he sent the woman. Fiore also paid a woman in Venezuela $600 to produce a video depicting the sadistic abuse of a prepubescent child. Fiore possessed videos and other images depicting the sadistic sexual abuse of other prepubescent minors.

Fiore pled guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and kill a person overseas; murder-for-hire; conspiracy to produce child pornography; and possession of child pornography.

The 39-year-old woman, originally from Colombia, is accused of sending Fiore the videos and of conspiring with him to produce child pornography. She is charged with conspiracy to murder and kidnap a person in a foreign country; conspiracy to produce child pornography; production of child pornography; and aiding and abetting the receipt of child pornography.

The woman was arrested in Colombia in September 2020, and Colombia recently approved her extradition to the United States for trial. Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs "Vermont Man Sentenced to 27 Years for Murder- and Kidnap-for-Hire Scheme and Child Pornography Offenses," https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/vermont-man-sentenced-27-years-murder-and-kidnap-hire-scheme-and-child-pornography-offenses (Mar. 30, 2022).

Commentary and Checklist

The International Justice Mission (IJM) launched a study on how widespread online sexual exploitation of children is. Following are some key findings:

·      41 percent of the traffickers were biological parents of the victimized and another 42 percent were relatives such as older siblings, aunts, and cousins.

·      The median age of victims at the time of rescue was just 11.

·      Nine percent of the victims were three-years-old or younger.

·      The average length of abuse was two years, ranging in length from two months to four years.

Unfortunately, the study was not able to measure all online abuse because when abuse is livestreamed, it is undetected. Currently, social media companies and live streaming platforms simply cannot recognize when child sexual abuse is being live streamed on their online products and services. But, even if they detect online crimes against children, such as the sharing of photos and videos, companies vary widely in how much information they report to authorities.

Safe adults should be watchful and know that children, especially young children can be easily manipulated by sex offenders. Protect children from cyber exploitation should be a priority.

If you see child pornography a device, what should safe adults do?

  • If you find it on someone else's phone or computer, preserve any evidence, if possible.
  • If you find it on the internet, note the name of the website, chat room, or newsgroup where you saw the suspected child pornography.
  • Report to law enforcement or child protective services immediately.
  • A report can also be made online at the NCMEC CyberTipline or via the phone at 1-800-843-5678.
  • If you receive child pornography through unsolicited e-mail, note the sender's screen name and ISP (Internet Service Provider) and forward the entire message (do not copy and paste) to the FBI.
  • DO NOT download the child pornography yourself in order to help the FBI. You may not download such an image to your hard drive, disk, or printer without breaking the law.
  • Rely on law enforcement to conduct the investigation into the crime. Assist authorities with their investigation, if requested.
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