TALLAHASSEE – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Attorney General Charlie Crist today announced the arrest of a Clay County man on child pornography charges. Investigators from the Attorney General’s CyberCrime Unit arrested Kyle Wade Rose, 21, after executing a search warrant on his apartment and seizing multiple images of child pornography from his home computer. The Special Victims Unit of the Clay County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the execution of the search warrant and the arrest.
The search warrant and arrest comprised the final stage of a 6-week undercover online investigation conducted by the CyberCrime Unit. During the execution of the search warrant, two computers were seized and will be submitted to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for forensic examination. Investigators believe Rose used his home computer to transmit numerous images of child pornography over the internet.
“A civilized society is repulsed by the exploitation of a child,” said Crist. “ The CyberCrime Unit was established to help law enforcement use the latest resources and techniques to identify, arrest, and prosecute those who would victimize our vulnerable citizens.”
The CyberCrime Unit was established recently by the Attorney General in order to focus on the growing problem of crimes committed via the internet, particularly against children. CyberCrime investigators conduct covert investigations online and target individuals who prey on children as well as those who pollute the internet with images of child pornography. This unit allows law enforcement and prosecutors to focus on an area that poses a grave danger to children but can be too technically complex and ever-changing for some local law enforcement agencies to emphasize. The unit is supported in part by the federally funded Internet Crimes Against Children task force and is a member of the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.
The case against Rose will be prosecuted jointly by the Fourth Circuit State Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General’s Office. Rose is officially charged with one count of promoting the sexual performance of a child, although more charges may be added at a later time. Rose faces a maximum prison sentence of 15 years for each image that was transmitted. He is currently being held in the Clay County jail.
A study by the Crimes Against Children Research Center several years ago indicated that at least 24 million children between the ages of 10 and 17 use the internet regularly. One out of every five of these children received a sexual solicitation, one in every four received unwanted pictures of naked people or people having sex, one in every 17 was threatened or harassed and one in every 33 received an aggressive sexual solicitation asking the recipient to meet, phone or accept gifts.
The CyberCrime Unit’s mission statement directs it to protect children from computer-facilitated sexual exploitation by working cooperatively on a statewide basis with law enforcement and prosecution agencies to provide resources and expertise, while preventing the spread of these crimes through education and community awareness.
In addition to the CyberCrime Unit, the Attorney General has taken several steps to protect Florida’s children during the past year.
• In May, Crist and Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Guy Tunnell, in conjunction with Pitney-Bowes, announced an enhanced state website that makes it easier to keep track of sexual offenders and predators in Florida.
• A new publication titled “Safe Steps” was produced for the purpose of educating parents on ways to protect their young children and alert them to issues involving teenagers. The publication was produced in conjunction with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
• A series of one-hour courses called “Escape School,” covering child safety for both children and parents, was presented at 25 locations around the state.
The Attorney General also successfully fought for the constitutionality of the Florida Sexual Predators Act – Florida’s version of “Megan’s Law” – which is the act that requires sexual predators to register once they are released from prison. The Florida Supreme Court agreed with the arguments put forth by the Attorney General’s Office of the Solicitor General. The Supreme Court also agreed with the Attorney General’s argument that automatically placing a convicted offender’s name on a list of offenders is not unconstitutional. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider a legal challenge to the Florida law requiring sex offenders to register with the state so their pictures and other identifying information can be posted on the internet.