15 Georgians arrested on child exploitation charges during COVID-19 pandemic

15 Georgians arrested on child exploitation charges during COVID-19 pandemic
(Source: KAUZ)

GEORGIA (WTVM) - Since mid-March when public schools across the state of Georgia shut down, more than a dozen Georgians have been arrested on online child exploitation charges.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Child Exploitation and Computer Crimes (CEACC) Unit have executed 16 search warrants related to online child exploitation across the state, resulting in 15 arrests on charges of possession, distribution and/or production of child sexual abuse images

Some of those who were arrested were also charged with child molestation.

The GBI CEACC Unit has also rescued eight children from sexual abuse situations. Other former child sexual abuse victims were identified, but the offender no longer had access to the child.

Some offenders also reported having numerous undetected victims. The GBI says more victims could be identified in their investigation and more charges and arrests could be forthcoming.

With children not attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic and having more access to the internet throughout the day, there has been concern with children being stuck at home with potential abusers without access to mandatory reporters like teachers.

The GBI CEACC continues working to find and rescue children who are victims of sexual abuse, throughout the pandemic and all the time.

The identities and locations of the 15 arrested individuals have not been released at this time.

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