13 NEWS SPECIAL REPORT: Child Porn Website Spreads Through West - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

13 NEWS SPECIAL REPORT: Child Porn Website Spreads Through West Virginia

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Officials with the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office say the most recent porn website making the rounds in West Virginia is unique. 

Not only does the page contain threads for sharing nude pictures on a county by county basis, it also includes personal information about those depicted in the images.

"There has always been, among all age groups, the trade of intimate photos. However, this is every alarming when we look at it at a global scale. It gives you their names, where they are from, and even their names and their graduating class is identified," said Detective Atha, a Digital Forensics Analyst for the Kanawha County Sheriff's Office.

After searching through the website for evidence, Detective Atha confirmed that many of the pictures are of underage girls who originally shared the images with their boyfriends.

"The images are nine years old and they are depicting people who are now adults, but these were taken at a time that they were well under the age of 18. That is child pornography," said Detective Atha. 

While certain laws protect underage individuals who take and share nude photos, anyone over the age of 18 who possesses images of an underage individual can face felony charges.

Dr. David Clayman, a local psychologist, says victims of revenge porn can suffer a variety of emotional issues. 

"When trust is betrayed and boundaries are violated, the way in which people view intimate relationships can be colored forever," said Dr. Clayman.

Police say talking to your teens about the dangers of taking and sharing naked pictures can prevent a lot of trouble down the road. Once those images have been posted online, it's not hard to figure out where they came from.

"There is always digital evidence. There is always digital artifact that exists. So if you are the individual posting these images, the individual sharing these images of child pornography, there is always a trail to find out where that came from," said Detective Atha.

The repercussions for those sharing child pornography can follow them into their careers and personal lives. 

"It doesn't matter if you meant to harm them or not. Not only will the person who has had pictures of them posted suffer, but the person posting them will suffer as well," said Dr. Clayman.

Detective Atha says that his investigation has led him to child porn cases in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Florida, and Virginia so far.

The Kanawha County Sheriff's Office is currently working with federal law enforcement to identify victims and offenders from the website. 

If you or someone you know has been exploited on the internet, contact local law enforcement immediately. 

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