Sexual predators caught at their own game - Interview possibilities



    MONTREAL, Sept. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Le Journal de Montréal, Canada's
largest French-language newspaper, starts the publication Monday of an
investigative series about how sexual predators infiltrate Internet sites that
are popular among young Canadians.
    Reporters for the newspaper took on the identities of girls between the
age of 11 and 13 while chatting to see if they would be approached. The
journalists learned that many men were incredibly aggressive in their
approaches to girls with vulgar and explicit words and acts. The men very
quickly tried to convince the girls to meet them for sex.
    Four men showed up to an apartment rented by the newspaper in central
Montreal. They thought they were going to see a young girl alone while her
parents were out. Instead, they were met by a team of journalists who
questioned them. Some of the men tried to deny their advances, others tried to
gain sympathy.
    The series is meant to show parents - often unaware of what their
children are doing on the Internet - about the dangers that exist on the
Internet for their children. For example, the number of men charged with
luring a child with the use of a computer has tripled in the last two years in
Quebec.
    Media interested in interviewing the team that put together the
investigative series are welcome to contact Josée Mailhot at 514-244-8343 to
set up specific times. Many of the journalists speak perfect English.
    As of Monday morning, the newspaper will make available video and audio
clips on a FTP site for broadcast media to use for their newscasts or shows.
To obtain a password, please send an email to mpigeon@journalmtl.com

    SOME HIGHIGHTS:

    
    (*) The reporters who posed as young girls on the Internet went on chat
        rooms reserved for 12 to 17 year olds. They found a lot of grown men
        there who pretended at first to be teenagers.

    (*) The reporters always let the men make the first contact in the
        chatrooms. The reporters also always let the men make the first
        references to sex. The reporters responded like naive girls who were
        not that aware of sexual matters.

    (*) The reporters always let the men ask first for a meeting or a
        telephone call. The Journal never made the first move.

    (*) The Journal decided not to identify the men because the emphasis of
        the investigative series was to inform parents of the dangers out
        there for their children. The predators' faces are blurred in the
        photos.

    (*) The Journal de Montreal did, however, decide not to follow one
        journalistic rule in this exceptional case. During the investigation,
        we collected information on 15 men we believed could pose a danger to
        children on the Internet. Normally, journalists do not volontarily
        share information with the police. In this case, the Journal decided
        it was important this time to give details about those 15 men to
        cyberaide.ca, a Canadian website set up so people can report such
        information.
    




For further information:

For further information: Josée Mailhot, (514) 244-8343

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Journal de Montréal

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