One of the largest child porn stings in New York resulted in some disheartening arrests: a police chief, a paramedic, a rabbi, and a Boy Scout leader are all facing charges for allegedly trading child porn over the Internet. Also, out of the 71 people charged, one was a woman.
Authorities decided to launch the investigation after a police chief, Brian Fanelli, was arrested for trading child porn. He has pleaded not guilty. Court papers say he began looking at child porn for "research" and then it became a "personal interest." Yikes. How do you suddenly develop a personal interest in that?
Fanelli had also taught sex-abuse awareness to school children. This is apparently why he began downloading these types of images. But then he allegedly kept doing it long after the classes ended. How does that happen??
Joan Maybury, who is one of the top government officials in Mount Pleasant, New York, where Fanelli worked, told the New York Daily News:
It’s very disturbing. We’re in complete shock. You would never think you would hear this type of news about a co-worker. He’s been a respected member of the police department for 22 years.
The sting was carried out by Immigration Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations, and James Hayes, who works with the agency, says that the sting shows that watching and sharing child porn "is not something that is just done by unemployed drifters who live in their parent's basement."
Indeed, with the arrest of a rabbi, a top cop, a paramedic, and a Boy Scout leader, it depressingly proves how true that statement is. Of course, we know that people in positions of authority and trust -- and ones we assume will be safe around kids -- aren't always above reproach. Every occupation you can imagine is probably represented in the child porn watching world.
But it's still so disappointing and awful. Especially thinking that a police officer, someone who is supposed to be dedicated to stopping this kind of sickening crime, might be guilty of perpetuating it.
It just goes to you show you, people need to earn your trust and not be automatically given it because of their position.
Does this surprise you?
Image via News 12