Unmasking predators of child sexual abuse

Special Reports

Unspeakable Crimes

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Detectives Michael Adkins and Robert Carrigan, with Metro’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit (ICAC), spend hundreds of hours investigating crimes.

“Every time we make an arrest we get the same response- I never thought he would do that. It doesn’t matter age, race, job, social standing. None of that matters when it comes to this,” said Adkins.

Predators not fitting a typical “suspect profile” make it harder for everyone to identify them and their deeply heinous acts.

“I put a guy in prison for sexually molesting his three-month-old and he had video and pictures on his phone,” revealed Carrigan.

Acts impossible to comprehend for many. Unfortunately, for detectives and prosecutors investigating these crimes; it’s their reality.

“This is just one case,” Assistant District Attorney General Jenni Smith said as she flips through a stack of thousands of pages.

“This doesn’t include all of the images.” Smith is referring to tens-of-thousands of disturbing pictures and videos involving minors.

“I have to go through each one of them and determine if they fit the definition of child pornography. That is a very difficult thing to do. There are just some things you can’t forget,” Smith says as tears fill her eyes.

Most of the headline cases involve a trusted public figure like a coach or something so unbelievable like 36-year-old Jarratt Turner who dressed as Spiderman pretending to cheer up sick children only to lure them into his web of producing and distributing child pornography.

But, there are dozens of other untold cases.

“People don’t hear about the sex abuse case involving the dad, or the stepdad, or the grandfather, or the brother, or the uncle,” said Smith.

Detectives don’t consider sex crimes against children crimes of impulse. Instead, they characterize them as methodical, deliberate, and emotional. Perpetrators even help one another.

“Some of our suspects have created a room that’s password-protected where they can share information back and forth with other people,” explained Carrigan.

Law enforcement around the world, including FBI Assistant Special Agent in charge of the Nashville agency Matthew Foster, is on to the criminals and work seamlessly between agencies to make arrests.

“We sure hope, if someone is out there trying to do something bad to a kid that you wind up talking to one of our undercover agents, because we’d love to meet ’em,” Foster says with a smirk.

News 2 is investigating new trends and tactics being used by adults who prey on children. Click here to see more from “Unspeakable Crimes: What Parents Need to Know”.

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