Category Archives: TX Attorney General

TX AG – Keep Your Children Safe Online

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The Child Exploitation and Fugitive Apprehension Units, formed and overseen by the Office of the Attorney General, work relentlessly to keep our children and communities safe.

Cyber Safe­ty

Texas children access the Internet all the time — using social media, instant messaging, apps on their smartphones and chat rooms.  But dangerous child predators lurk online, too.  They’re trying to gain children’s trust for evil purposes.

Recent studies show that 1 in 7 young people have experienced unwanted sexual solicitations online — and 1 in 3 have been exposed to unwanted sexual material online.

The Child Exploitation and Fugitive Apprehension Units, formed and overseen by the Office of the Attorney General, work relentlessly to keep our children and communities safe by arresting sexual predators/child pornographers and bringing them to justice.

The resources below are intended to help Texas parents protect their children’s safety — especially online.

10 -17 – Age range of children most often targeted by child predators online

527 – Arrests for online solicitation of a minor and promotion of child pornography in Texas

704 – Convictions for online solicitation of a minor and promotion of child pornography in Texas

Questions & Answers About Cyber Safety
in Texas

How can I help fight back against online child predators?

Knowledge is power.  Educate yourself — and your children — about cyber safety. Talk to your kids, nieces and nephews, and any adolescent who has access to the Internet about staying safe on the Internet.

Tell them:  If they receive any inappropriate contact online, talk to you immediately. It’s OK.  They won’t get into trouble.  You’re there to help protect them.

As technology evolves, so do the tactics used by child predators.  They may use social media, smartphone apps, chat rooms and more — all in an attempt to secure the trust of your children and convince them to meet in person.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® has an online program that teaches kids and adults how to be safe online.  Visit them at netsmartzkids.org

What is “sextortion”?

Sextortion is a tactic used by online predators to blackmail, groom, entice, coerce, lure and extort their victims into complying with their demands for sexual photos and videos.

These images are used by predators and, often, shared with other predators online. A single victim’s image might be shared with thousands of other predators.

Sextortion predators pose as the child’s peer (or someone of similar age) to gain their trust and illicit images.  The predator will often threaten to share the victim’s photos online unless they receive more images.

If you suspect a child has been targeted for sextortion, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.  You can also simply dial 9-1-1.

What challenges does law enforcement face?

When it comes to finding, arresting and convicting online child predators, law enforcement agencies face several challenges.  These include:

  • Staying connected to what’s happening on the Internet both locally and across the globe
  • Advances in technology (and the tactics that child predators use)
  • The size and scope of the network of child predators who share images and tips with each other online
  • The sheer amount of potential leads to follow: The FBI recently reported that on just one anonymous Internet network, Tor, 1.3 million sexually explicit images of children were discovered

What is the Child Exploitation Unit (CEU)?

Introduced in 2003 in order to address the limited resources law enforcement has to fight back against such a large, growing threat as Internet child predators, the CEU investigates and responds to complaints of child pornography online.

The CEU is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Justice’s “Internet Crime Against Children (ICAC) Task Force.”  The Texas Attorney General’s CEU is one of three ICAC Tasks Forces Texas — the other two being the Dallas and Houston police departments.

Which laws protect children online?

The primary law to help protect children online is the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).”

This law aims to protect children’s personal information on websites (and other Internet services, including apps) that are aimed at children under 13 years old.  The law also applies to any general audience website that knows it is collecting personal info from children that age.

COPPA requires these sites and apps to notify parents directly and get their approval before they collect, use, or disclose a child’s personal information.

Learn more about COPPA

Additionally, there are other federal and state laws that address cyber safety for children.  These include:

  • Electronic communication providers and remote computer service providers must notify the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) CyberTipline if a user commits a child pornography offense. (U.S. Code 2258A)
  • It is illegal to solicit anyone under the age of 17 (minor) — or anyone the offender believes to be under the age of 17 — online for sexual contact or to have sexually explicit communication. (Texas Penal Code 33.021)
  • It is illegal to possess or promote child pornography. (Texas Penal Code 43.26)

How You Can Help

Here is a collection of helpful resources from around the Web that will help you protect your children online.

ConnectSafely.org
Information on youth safety and social media

Chatting with Kids About Being Online
Guidance for parents and teachers

StopThinkConnect
Department of Homeland Security messages and tools to promote cyber safety

Cyber Tipline
Reporting suspected child sexual exploitation or child pornography

Cyberbullying
Texas Education Agency resources

Chat Shorthand
Parents’ guide to Internet lingo

TX AG CEU With Copperas Cove PD Take Down Six In Sting

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Josef James Dilly, 31, of Copperas Cove,TX.

AG Paxton’s Child Exploitation Unit and Copperas Cove Police Department Arrest Six Men in Sting Operation

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton announced that the Child Exploitation Unit and Human Trafficking Unit of his office, in a partnership with Copperas Cove Police Department, arrested five men for Online Solicitation of a Minor and one man for Prostitution during a three-day operation to locate and arrest online predators.

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Victor Manuel Vascot, 45, of Killeen, TX.

The arrested suspects include:

  • Josef James Dilly, 31, of Copperas Cove, arrested November 20 on one count of Online Solicitation of a Minor.
  • Victor Manuel Vascot, 45, of Killeen, arrested November 20 on one count of Online Solicitation of a Minor.
  • Isaac Figueroa Jr., 28, of Round Rock, arrested on November 21 on one count of Online Solicitation of a Minor.
  • Justin Earl Kepler, 31, of Lampasas, arrested on November 21 on one count of Online Solicitation of a Minor.
  • Jesse Franklin Quidachay, 37, of Copperas Cove, arrested on November 21 on one count of Online Solicitation of a Minor.
  • Demerick Deon Hearne, 47, of Copperas Cove, arrested November 20 on one count of Prostitution.

All of the men arrested were transferred to the Coryell County Jail.

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Isaac Figueroa Jr., 28, of Round Rock, TX.

“The grotesque targeting of children is a nationwide issue, and this serves as a reminder that our communities must remain vigilant to protect the most vulnerable from exploitation,” said Attorney General Paxton.  “I thank the hard-working investigators with my office’s Child Exploitation Unit and Human Trafficking Unit, and the brave police officers of Copperas Cove Police Department for stopping these child-predators from potentially harming more innocent children.”

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Justin Earl Kepler, 31, of Lampasas, TX.

Attorney General Paxton’s office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down online predators.

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Jesse Franklin Quidachay, 37, of Copperas Cove, TX.

Since its inception, the Child Exploitation Unit has made 264 arrests and obtained 194 convictions on charges of Online Solicitation of a Minor.

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Demerick Deon Hearne, 47, of Copperas Cove, TX

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their safety.

If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography, you can report it to NCMEC.
CyberTipline
1-800-843-5678

For more information on cyber safety, please visit:
https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/

TX AG Fraud Alert

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Fraud Alert from TX Attorney General Office.

Fraud Alert: Scammers Claiming to be
OAG Crime Victim Services Attempting
to Defraud Texans

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton today warned Texans about reported scam callers falsely claiming to be members of the OAG’s Crime Victim Services Division and attempting to obtain personal and financial information from members of the public.

The fraudulent callers are attempting to obtain personal identifying information from the call recipient and ask for money transfers or bank details after baselessly claiming the call recipient’s social security number has been compromised.

The callers are using local numbers and sometimes provide a false “case number” during the call.

The true OAG Crime Victim Services phone number is toll-free 1-800-983-9933 and local number 512-936-1200.

The OAG warns Texans against providing any personal information, such as social security or banking numbers, over the phone with anyone claiming to be from the Crime Victim Services Division, and encourages anyone who receives a fraudulent or scam call to report it to the OAG’s Consumer Protection Division by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline toll-free at 1-800-621-0508 or filing a complaint online .

TX AG Criminal Investigations Unit Stops Child Predator

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Felipe Jesus Duron, 21, of Atascosa, Texas.

AG Paxton’s Criminal Investigations Unit Makes First Sextortion Arrest

AUSTIN, TX  –  Attorney General Ken Paxton recently commended investigators from the Sextortion Unit in the Criminal Investigations Unit of his office for the arrest of Felipe Jesus Duron, 21, of Atascosa on federal charges of Production of Child Pornography, Coercion and Enticement of a Minor, Receipt of Child Pornography and Possession of Child Pornography.

On October 15, 2019, the Sextortion Unit, with the assistance of the attorney general’s Child Exploitation Unit and FBI San Antonio Child Exploitation Task Force, arrested Duron after a National Center for Missing and Exploited Children® (NCMEC) CyberTipline report revealed a 14-year-old female being coerced to send nude images to Duron via a social media account.

The investigation revealed that Duron requested and received nude images of the underage victim then threatened public exposure of these images if additional nude images were not sent.  Duron also used this tactic to force the young victim into online sexual acts with other males while he recorded the activities.  This case is being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of Texas.

“Dangerous predators can infiltrate any home through computers, tablets, or phones.  Unfortunately, criminals lurking online often target our most vulnerable citizens and seek to exploit children,” said Attorney General Paxton.  “I am grateful for the work of our Sextortion Unit and the dedicated law enforcement officials they work with to bring criminals like this to justice.”

Attorney General Paxton’s office works to protect children by using the latest technology to track down some of the most profoundly evil predators online.

This case marks the first arrest by a state grant-funded investigation position in the Texas Attorney General’s Office that focuses on sexual coercion.

Attorney General Paxton urges all parents and teachers to become aware of the risks children face on the internet and take steps to help ensure their safety.

If you suspect someone is producing or downloading child pornography, you can report it to NCMEC.
CyberTipline
1-800-843-5678

For more information on cyber safety, please visit:
https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/cyber-safety/

Sex Change For 7 Year Old?

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Texas Attorney General Logo graphic.

AG Paxton: Children Must Be Protected from Unnecessary and Abusive Medical Treatments

AUSTIN, TX  –  The Office of the Attorney General today sent a referral to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), requesting the agency investigate possible child abuse against seven-year-old James Younger, whose mother has proposed chemically and surgically altering his biological sex based on her belief that he may identify as a girl.

“Texans understand that children are cherished, unique individuals who should be supported and properly cared for as they grow up in our communities,” said Attorney General Ken Paxton.  “I trust that DFPS will act immediately upon our request, conduct a thorough investigation, and protect this child.”

I sincerely hope you all will read our Attorney General’s letter of referral to TX DHS.  

This is Felony Child Abuse, and  the end result of Obama’s Legacy, which took away our Children’s Equal Rights, and gave the perverse alphabet Child Predators an OPEN SEASON ON OUR CHILDREN.
Robert StrongBow