Child Porn Task Force Tracking Predators In Oklahoma


Thursday, June 23rd 2011, 7:26 pm
By: News On 6


Ashli Sims, News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It happens every day on computers in Oklahoma.  Sexual images of young children traded back and forth across the internet.

Investigator Steve Tanner heads up the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, part of a nationwide effort by law enforcement.

"We're probably one of the only units that are able to work proactive cases, meaning we're out there searching for child pornographers and people that are soliciting sexual contact with minors," Tanner said.

He said every month there are 1,500 to 2,000 computers with files that investigators believe are child porn.

"We're out there focusing on the ones that have the largest number of files available for sharing so they're the ones that we target," he said.

Tanner said the research isn't conclusive, but some studies show up to 60 percent of child porn users commit other crimes.

Just this week, Tulsan Richard Clough was arrested for possessing child pornography.

Police reports reveal Clough had sexually assaulted a relative, since she was nine. The report say Clough confessed to having sex with her 30 to 40 times over the last eight years.

He's also accused of molesting a second teenage girl. Police said nude photos of the girl were found on Clough's cell phone.

6/21/2011 Related Story: Police: Two Teenage Girls Allege Tulsa Man Sexually Assaulted Them

"We firmly believe here in Oklahoma that a lot of people who are out there pleasuring themselves with child pornography have either done a hands-on sexual offense or are planning on it," Tanner said.

Tanner said a federal grant enables his seven-member team to go after some child pornography suspects, but not all.

"We're limited on the number of forensic examiners that we have because of funds. We just can't afford to have as many people as we need," he said.

Tanner said his team is pursuing other grants to make more investigations possible.

Richard Clough is being held in the Tulsa County Jail on $135,000 bond.