IMPORTANT: New info on ?YIOR? site which was sexually exploiting kids
Hi, my name is Dean Winiarski. I'm the founder and director of a small organization called C.A.S.E.C. - Citizens Against the Sexual Exploitation of Children.
I'm posting this message to your board because your group has been identified as one of many groups who have been impacted by the activities of a ?diaper fetish? Internet site known as ?YIOR?. The members of this YIOR site were stealing pictures of young children from family and photography sites and collecting them for sexual gratification. Some parenting groups responded by mounting a campaign to pressure the Michigan Attorney General's office to close down the site, owned by Brian Cobb of Michigan.
Some of you may also know that the situation was worse than just the theft of family pictures. This YIOR site was also sexually exploiting at least four live children: a 5 year old girl, a five year old boy, a 7 year old girl, and a 15 year old girl. These children were forced to wear diapers and pose for pictures for the sexual gratification of the members. Additionally, some members were paying foreign child-porn sites to produce pictures and videos of young children urinating in diapers, then trading this pornography on YIOR.
I have a VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE on this situation. I know this message is a bit long, but please take the time to read it for the sake of these children.
I began personally conducting an investigation of YIOR back in September of 2004, long before your group learned of this problem. When I later saw the grass-roots efforts of parenting groups such as yours, I had a great desire to let you know I was getting close to having charges filed against the perpetrators, but I could not risk blowing the cover of the operation. Back in July I finally had a breakthrough in pinpointing the exact location of the perpetrators. At that point I immediately traveled to Georgia to begin personally assisting the Haralson County Sheriff's Department in the apprehension of these suspects.
I should explain that CASEC is just a small organization I started out of my own house two years ago. My ?day job? is as a remodeling contractor. I financed this entire investigation out of my own pocket and with the help of a few friends who have been faithful supporters. Over the last two years I?ve spent thousands of dollars and many months on leave-of-absence from my business tracking down and rescuing kids like this. Please understand - I'm not telling you this to ?toot my own horn? but because it's important for everyone to understand how messed up our laws are. I'm trying to get the word out that the police are largely powerless to stop this type of exploitation of children. That?s why I was compelled to take this matter into my own hands. It was because my repeated reports of this abuse to the police fell on deaf ears.
While I was successful in busting these perpetrators, it was only against incredible odds. If it were not for my personal intervention, I can positively assure you that the YIOR site would still be active and these kids would still be exploited. The Sheriff?s department in Georgia that issued these arrests would be glad to verify that fact for you. They issued a press release on the case which went out on AP wires. You can read the news story here, which mentions me by name:
http://www.annistonstar.com/news/2005/a ... 8x2432.htm
(this site requires you to create a temporary free account)
(a copy of the article on my own site)
Again, I'm emphasizing the importance of my involvement only to help you understand how hopelessly messed up the laws are regarding exploitation like this. We should know there?s a problem when a private citizen needs to go to these extremes to put a stop to such an atrocity.
If you learned of these arrests previously, you may have assumed that the Michigan Attorney General's Office finally took action under public pressure. No matter what claims they may have made on the phone to the parents who were complaining, you must understand that THEY DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Georgia needed to extradite Cobb precisely because Michigan refused to charge him with any crime. In fact, Michigan refused to even honor the search warrant Georgia issued against Cobb?s residence. Because of this, Cobb?s personal computer was NEVER SEIZED and evidence was potentially lost. If it were not for the success we had in seizing evidence from other locations in Georgia we wouldn?t even have a case.
Why was it so hard to put a stop to this atrocity? Why did Michigan fail to take any action against this site or Cobb? Why was it necessary for a private citizen to track these kids to Georgia in order to rescue them? Where was the FBI in all of this? These are questions I hope to answer for you in this message.
Let me begin by explaining how this project got started. In my spare time I?m involved with the operation of some Christian support and counseling Internet sites. Occasionally tips of illegal activity will come my way. In July of 2003 I was alerted to a situation similar to what's been happening at YIOR. I immediately brought the information to the FBI, but they TOOK NO ACTION on the tip. I later had several meetings with them where they explained that this sort of exploitation falls in a "gray area" of the law that is not specifically addressed by any existing federal statutes. These type of pictures cannot be easily classified as "child porn" since they do not contain genital nudity or sexual situations (as normally defined).
The FBI agreed that the ACTUAL ACTS against the children - ?documented? by the pictures - are potentially prosecutable (as well as morally apprehensible), but the logistics of prosecuting such offenses make it prohibitively difficult. They explained that the bureau simply does not have the resources to pursue such cases since the odds of a prosecution are not good. They choose not to ?waste their time? prosecuting defendants that will likely be acquitted due to the insufficient applicability of existing statutes.
THIS LEAVES CHILDREN IN A BAD POSITION!!!
Think about this? The FBI is the ONLY law enforcement authority with jurisdiction over the entire country. This type of cross-jurisdictional authority is vital in investigating Internet-based crimes against children, since these crimes often span several states (if not countries). The inability of the FBI to act in such cases cripples ALL national advocacy organizations that could otherwise help - because ALL such organizations use the FBI as their investigative arm! This means that if you report such a site to the NCMEC, Child-Help USA, or any number of other advocacy organizations, you will be given an impression that something will be done - but in reality the tip will be forwarded to the FBI where it will likely die!
This is also the reason why so many complaints to the Michigan AG's office were ineffective in getting results. It's not necessarily because these officials are UNWILLING to act, but because they are to a large extent UNABLE - because we have not provided them with sufficient laws to get the job done!
A lawyer from the NCMEC did some legal research for my organization about four months ago. She determined that in most areas of the U.S. it is NOT AGAINST THE LAW to involve children in fetish-related activity (!!!!!!!). Can you imagine the problem we?re going to face when sexual deviants come to a full understanding of this shocking situation?
This particular exploitation occurred near the Georgia-Alabama border. Our only breakthrough was that approximately half of this activity took place on the Georgia side of the border, where state laws are specific enough to prosecute this exploitation as a crime. Alabama officials openly admit that if these activities had occurred exclusively in their state these people could not be charged for any sexual crime.
THIS FACT SHOULD BE SHOCKING TO EVERY PARENT.
Besides this fetish-oriented activity, we have a rapidly expanding proliferation of so called ?Lolita? sites on the Internet - many based right here in the U.S. On these sites, girls as young as 6 years old are dressed in thong panties or adult lingerie and photographed in sensual poses. Pedophiles are flocking to these sites, knowing that if they're caught with these images they CANNOT BE PROSECUTED for child pornography because the images avoid genital nudity. These sites are breeding our next generation of child molesters. As U.S. citizens, we may not be able to stop foreign child porn, but at least we can set an example for the world by addressing the problem within our own borders!
This is why I'm working to organize people who, like me, are unwilling to accept this situation. The organization I'm trying to build will specifically address cases of child sexual exploitation that are not adequately covered by existing laws. The FBI has no problem prosecuting hard-core child porn, but they're utterly hamstrung in their ability to prosecute a great deal of equally disturbing crimes against children.
I can assure you that members of the former YIOR site are watching this situation carefully. I?ve continued to monitor their discussions and they have already formed a new site from which to base their activities. How long do you suppose it will be before they move their operation to Alabama - or maybe YOUR state? Please help me to stop them and others like them.
We need to coordinate a grass-roots campaign to address this problem. I recently placed a new website online for the specific purpose of coordinating this effort. I also intend to provide a clearinghouse of up-to-date information on the continuing investigation and trial of the YIOR site members, and other related cases. You can find the CASEC site here:
The site is still under construction, but we'll be expanding the information as we?re able. We also have a discussion forum which will be the primary tool for the integration of new members into this ongoing effort. I?m asking the members of your board to take a minute to simply visit our site and consider joining this fight with us. Even if you only have a few minutes per week to give, your participation will be significant. An effort like this can only be effective if we generate a tide of political support for new laws.
Trust me, I?ve been bugging government officials ceaselessly for two years now, and I?ve found that a lone voice is ineffective. But hundreds of voices speaking as one can get the job done.
Thank you for your time!
Director, CASEC Project