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Tue, July 16

Miner Editorial | Parents stay vigilant of children’s online presence

(Adobe Images)

(Adobe Images)

You never know who could be the person who lives next door to you or just down the street. On the outside they may seem like a normal and harmless person, but their past or inner self can tell a different story.

Recently Mohave County Sheriff’s Office conducted a sting targeting individuals throughout the county using the internet to lure minors for sexual exploitation, which resulted in the arrest of nine men, two from Kingman.

With the help of other law enforcement agencies in the county such as police departments from Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu. Also, including the Department of Homeland Security Investigations Unit and the Mohave County Attorney’s Office, these predators have been captured.

Cell phones, tablets, and even video game consoles have access to chat rooms where predators can be lurking around. As parents, sometimes we don’t have to invade our children’s privacy, but there’s cases where looking through their devices must be done.

But how do we know that it’s our child that is being a victim of an online predator?

According to Common Sense Media, a child withdraws and becomes more secretive around a device, hiding the screen or closing an internet window quickly, could be an indicator.

There’s conflicting research on which age group of children is more likely to be at risk, but studies have shown that ages 12-15 is most common, and girls are more frequent victims.

Others who are at risk are teen boys who are questioning their sexuality because they feel talking about it online is safer than sharing in real life.

Being secretive is part of the development of a tween and a teen. Parents can learn the lingo that is used nowadays to help with what their child may be talking about on their phones.

Parents shouldn’t overreact or accuse when their child opens up to them with a situation that they are going through and are seeking help.

For more tips on how parents can keep their children safe from online predators, visit https://bit.ly/2w6G8jb.

Parents always want their children to be safe from all aspects of life, but so do the men and women behind the uniform, so kudos to MCSO and all the other law enforcement agencies that assisted with the sting and made the children in Mohave County much safer.

The following men were arrested in connection with the sting: Paul John Carlton, 33 of Kingman, for sexual exploitation of a minor, transmitting obscene materials to a minor and luring a minor for sexual exploitation; Justin Donald Harryman, 39 of Kingman, for sexual exploitation of a minor and luring a minor for sexual exploitation; Warren Mitchell Gillespie, 45 of Lake Havasu City, for six counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and six counts of commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.

Also arrested were Daniel Eugene Martin, 33 of Lake Havasu City, for luring a minor for sexual exploitation and sexual exploitation of a minor; James David Earnest, 56 of Bullhead City, for sexual exploitation of a minor, furnishing harmful materials to a minor and luring a minor for sexual exploitation; 79-year-old Albert Anthony Olvera of Bullhead City for two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and two counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation. Another Bullhead City man, 72-year-old George Stephen Lizotte, was arrested for five counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation, three counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor.

The last two from Las Vegas were Durell Keith Shaw, 33, for 10 counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation, one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor; and Kevin Harry Moninger, 63, for three counts of luring a minor for sexual exploitation and one count of attempted sexual conduct with a minor.

All of the above counts are felonies.

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