Online Predators: Amarillo May Not Be Immune - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Online Predators: Amarillo May Not Be Immune

Probation Officer Terry Easterling Probation Officer Terry Easterling
Dr. Son Nguyen, Psychiatry Clinic of Amarillo Dr. Son Nguyen, Psychiatry Clinic of Amarillo

Three Amarillo men sit behind bars after police say they sexually assaulted two young girls. 20 year old Isaac Moore faces five charges of sexual assault with a child and one charge of a prohibited weapon. 21 year old Arthur Wheat faces one charge of sexual assault with a child. 19 year old Jacob Castillo is facing two charges of sexual assault with a child. All three are in the Potter County Detention center and none of them have posted bond.

The three men allegedly met their young victims on the social networking site myspace. After years of hearing about cases like that happening all over the nation, this is the first known time something like this has happened in Amarillo. Behind every key stroke, behind every mouse click, danger could be lurking. Probation officer Terry Easterling says, "they have no idea who they're dealing with." your children think they're dealing with people they call friends.

Dr. Son Nguyen from the Psychiatry Clinic of Amarillo says, "we forget the definition of friends. Then I feel like he's my friend and forgetting that just because we chit chat to each other and talk to each other doesn't mean that we are truly friends." things become even more dangerous when that chit-chatting online becomes chit-chatting in person. If your child takes this step to blur the line between cyber-space and reality, the consequences could be fatal.

Easterling says, "death is the ultimate sanction. Anything you can imagine is possible. Rape, murder." looking for these "friend's" names in the sex offender registry is a step in the right direction, but it's not fool proof... Only one-third of sex offenders are registered. The best way to stop your kids from becoming the next victim is to drive home the point that while they think they're having an innocent conversation, it can easily take a turn for the worse. Dr. Nguyen says, "we don't want our kids to be paranoid or scared, but this is a reality." we've all heard it many times, but just a reminder... Pay attention to who your kids talk to online and look at their website history.

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