Statewide Initiative Targets Sexual Exploitation Of Children

Friday, March 23rd 2007, 2:39 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) With an estimated 50,000 child sex predators searching the Internet at any given time, prosecutors and law enforcement authorities announce Friday a statewide initiative to target the sexual exploitation of children.

The announcement drew all three of the state's U.S. attorneys as well as federal, state and local law enforcement officials.

U.S. Attorney John C. Richter, based in Oklahoma City, says Project Safe Childhood is a coalition of federal, state and local authorities who are combining their efforts and resources to arrest and prosecute child sex offenders.

Richter said there are 500,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S., as well as many unaccounted for.

Tulsa-based U.S. Attorney David O'Meilia says one in seven children between the ages of 10 and 17 have been solicited sexually online.

U.S. Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling of Muskogee urges parents to join with state and federal prosecutors and law enforcement by helping identify online predators.