Protecting Exploited Children: The Failing System


Conchita Sarnoff Executive Director, Alliance to Rescue Victims of Trafficking
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It is all interconnected. At the NATO summit in Brussels last week President Trump asked the member nations for increased funding to defense. According to The Financial Times, the President, “scolded the other members for “chronic underfunding,” of the organization. The President has a good point, both abroad and at home, defense- in every sector- is underfunded, mismanaged and at times corrupt.

The latest tragedy in England–Manchester’s suicide bombing– exposes the most recent casualty and underscores the need to fight terrorism and increase vigilance both off and online. The President’s demands to increase capital to fight terrorism—the most egregious of human rights violations- is in fact spot on, “pressing big tech companies such as Google and Facebook to do more to suppress terrorist content.”

Not only are Google and Facebook and other tech companies including Craigslist and Backpage.com not complying, they are actually indirectly complicit. Ask any local law enforcement official or federal agent about the lack of online vigilance, controls and security and the official will validate how Google, Facebook, Backpage, Craigslist and many others continue to facilitate and indirectly sponsor terrorism, human trafficking and money laundering on a national and global scale. In fact, these companies should not only be stopped from these acts of collusion they should be financially liable and criminally charged.

On a far smaller stage, three domestic cases demonstrate extensive online criminal activity and the need to support more austere measures and increased funding to protect the innocent and most vulnerable populations. On Friday, New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio’s, staffer, 29-year-old, Jacob Schwartz, was arrested for keeping in excess of 3,000 child porn [read–Internet] images of girls as young as 6 months old. Eighty-nine (89) child porn videos from the Internet in his laptop were also discovered.

According to media reports, Schwartz is “a leading young Democrat,” and the son of Arthur Schwartz, a New York labor lawyer and “Democratic insider.” It is a “personal tragedy,” Schwartz’ father claimed. More significantly, it is a precarious case because it involves a government official working in the financial capital of the world with the power and resources to bend the laws. Unlike most predators, Mr. Schwartz was in a position to injure and/or protect the good citizens of New York including 6 months old infant girls.

Doug Ernst at The Washington Times said, “public records showed Mr. Schwartz first worked as an intern for Mayor de Blasio, in 2015, while his father, Arthur Schwartz, served as New York counsel to Senator Bernie Sander’s (Vt-D), during his 2016 presidential campaign.

What this and other recent domestic cases reveal is an urgent need to reform Internet regulations and government employment standards at the local, state and federal levels. Perhaps a mandatory mental health evaluation and screening could be performed by a team of highly qualified and ethical mental health experts? The routine examination should be compulsory prior to every hiring to determine the mental health condition and capacity of every government agent to protect the very citizens they are paid to serve.

In recent years, more and more cases have surfaced substantiating my decade long research into how abuse of power, influence peddling at the highest levels of government, an embedded pedophile ring within the government, corrupt politicians and government officials, propagate terrorism, human trafficking and child pornography, the second most profitable business online.

There is no question that unethical elements factor in the skewed prosecution or lack of prosecution during the indictment process of influential and rich predators. These corrupted government and court officials manipulate and promote skewed data to protect sexual predators online and off.  These same corrupted individuals also facilitate and promote false information to family courts, boards of education, and NGO’s.

Another recent high-profile government case calling for greater funding and reform is that of former congressman Anthony Weiner (D-NY) accused with a federal obscenity charge last week. Weiner had been performing illegal sexting activities for years. He was first caught, in 2011, yet it took the government six years to prosecute and bring charges against him for sexting a 15-year-old girl. Weiner plead guilty on May 19, 2017.

Prior to the indictment, around November 2016, the former congressman had spent a few weeks in a sex rehabilitation clinic. This was the third time he was caught sexting. The congressman is Huma Abedin’s husband. Ms. Abedin was vice chair of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Although sexting, “the sharing of nude or sexually explicit messages and/or photos via cell phone or other electronic device or means,” between two consenting adults is generally not illegal there are circumstances under which it can result in criminal charges when shared between adults. One scenario is when the person sexting shares nude or sexual photos without the other’s consent. This could result in the person being charged with harassment as should have been the case with Weiner the first time he was caught. Harassment is a criminal and civil charge.

In 2011, Weiner was first caught using Twitter “to send a sexually suggestive picture of himself to a 21-year-old college girl,” he was not charged. Three factors might have protected Weiner from criminal and civil prosecution and allowed him to remain inside the circle of power. One, his friendship with the Clinton’s; two, his wife’s, Huma Abedin’s, professional position with Secretary Hillary Clinton; and three, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) recommendations. Weiner resigned but no charges were pressed.

In 2013, the former congressman was caught a second time after he admitted to phoning, sexting dozens of sexually explicit messages and sending photos via THEDIRTY.COM, to a 22-year-old- Indiana girl only a year after he resigned from Congress. His online aliases were Carlos Danger and Dangr33. The most harrowing element to this story was that their toddler son was visible and asleep next to his father in this picture.

Like most ordinary predators who are caught, arrested and indicted for this behavior, Weiner was not banished from his position of power instead the former congressman was allowed to return to politics. As the world knows, in 2013, the New York congressman announced his candidacy for the New York City mayoral race.

Weiner’s criminal history points to the rampant influence peddling and abuse of power that continues to fester and perpetuate corruption, trafficking and human rights abuses by influential individuals within our government. In spite of his behavior, he was caught a second time and admitted to sexting at least 3 women of unidentified ages since his resignation from Congress, in 2011, again he was not prosecuted. In fact, Weiner was allowed to continue his campaign until the end. He placed fifth in the race.

In September 2016, the Daily Mail reported Weiner was being investigated by the FBI for sexting a 15-year-old girl. His laptop was seized and controversial emails relating to Secretary Hillary Clinton were found.

In November 2016, he attended a sex rehab for a few weeks in Tennessee. Although Weiner was caught on multiple occasions for various online crimes, it was not until May 19, 2017, that Weiner plead guilty to one count of transferring obscene material to a minor and agreed not to appeal a jail sentence between 21 and 27 months in prison. His wife, Huma Abedin, filed for divorce that same day. As most political cases go, Weiner might or might not be imprisoned and be forced to register as a sex offender for the first time.

If Weiner and Schwartz were not government officials would they have been given such autonomy? Would any other public official not associated with the Clinton’s be given such ample latitude? These two questions bring to mind the third and most notorious example of our failing system and the urgent need for courts and social media to step up and protect the rights of children and secure their safety: Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 vs. The United States Government.

Two underage Florida girls were trafficked for sex by a convicted and registered level 3 sex offender and filed a complaint under the Crime Victims’ Rights Act (CVRA) contesting the government’s participation in withholding relevant evidence in their criminal case against the trafficker and his procurers. Presently, the government is intent on not reopening the human trafficker’s Non-Prosecution Agreement.

Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 vs. The United States Government is part of the Jeffrey E. Epstein and Ghislaine N. Maxwell 2005 human trafficking case. If this case is not sufficient evidence to show beyond a reasonable doubt how the government colluded in order to grant the child trafficker and his principal procurers the ability to “get away with murder,” then a new definition for “collusion” should be entered into the English language dictionary.