Solicitation for teen prostitution online concerning law enforce - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Solicitation for teen prostitution online concerning law enforcement

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Amarillo, TX- Predators continue to use online sites to solicit children for prostitution, causing law enforcement to encourage parents once again to monitor their children's online activity.

It isn't a new problem, but the fact that children continue to fall victim to online predators and potentially become involved in prostitution is concerning for all law enforcement.

"Just within the past year we have had two cases where there were underage children that were being prostituted from out of town and some of the offenses occurred in Amarillo," said Lt. Martin Birkenfeld with the Crimes Against Persons Unit for the Amarillo Police Department.

The FBI recently busted several people who were using online social networking sites to solicit teen aged girls to become prostitutes, because of that they are asking local law enforcement agencies to keep an eye on the web.

"Detectives from time to time are looking at some of the web sites like back page and things like that tend to do prostitution types services and when we come across a suspicious ad or something like that, that is pointed out to us, where a person calls in and says hey I believe this teen is prostituting, and we investigate that," added Birkenfeld.

Terry Easterling, a probation officer for sex offenders says predators can find targets easily on these sights because young teens are so open with information.

"Anytime you are putting information out on the internet, you are putting yourself at risk and the more you talk about your personal life, your home life, problems you are having, you are making yourself exposed to individuals that are going to take advantage of that," added Easterling.

Birkenfeld and Easterling say the best way you can make sure your child stays safe online is to monitor their activity closely.