A resident of Virginia has been sentenced to 300 years in prison for engaging in child pornographic acts. Before his arrest, he had been finding victims for his pornographic acts from the darknet under the screen name, Va Dad4yung.
Henrick Styles pleaded guilty to 37 charges but could be in jail for 25 years after forcing a plea deal. This will only be activated if he shows good behavior during his prison sentence.
The internet crime against children Taskforce led to his arrest in 2015. The agency is a national network of 61 coordinated Taskforces which represent over 4,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies. Their proactive and reactive measures against persons who make use of the internet to be involved in child abuse have led to the arrest of thousands of people.
In 2015 when Style was discovered by the Taskforce, 1,140 child predators from 41 states were arrested in a two-month nationwide raid.
Henrick Style was a child predator who took his operation to a different level on the Darknet. However, his employment status and criminal record portrayed him as a clean citizen.
“This is a man who has never been in trouble whatsoever, had a strong employment history and been off everyone’s radar and from what appears would be an outstanding citizen and then he comes in with 37 charges for possession of child pornography,” according to the deputy Commonwealth attorney, Morgan Campbell. Henrick Style is from Denmark but resided in a Dinwiddie County home. The prosecutor said a search was conducted on his various devices, and suspicious downloads were retrieved from them. Most of the retrieved downloads were about boys who stay overseas. He was a member of a chat room called Gaydads4son where the conversation with underage boys was hatched.
The evidence used against him shows that he was being investigated even before his arrest. If not, then investigators displayed a great sense of efficiency to gather all evidence against him within the limited time frame. During his hearing in court, a transcript was used along with visual evidence of pictures and videos.
“I argued to Judge Martin to look at the pictures and faces of the young boys. This is not a victimless crime. It’s huge and I think it sends such a powerful message that it’s not going be tolerated,” added Campbell.
The FBI recently conducted an investigation into the darknet child porn which led to the arrest of one. This gave the investigators an idea to take on the child predators on the Darknet.
CHILD ABUSE CRIMES ON THE RISE IN US, PARTLY BLAMED ON DARKNET
The Darknet has a strong anonymity for its users, and a lot of dangerous goods and services are traded there under its refuge. Child abuse crime has been arguably the hottest crime committed on the Darknet, which also tends to generate traffic to most of the websites.
According to a study conducted by the University of Portsmouth in 2014, 80% of darknet traffic was generated by a visit to websites that offer child abuse materials.
The researcher, Dr. Gareth Owen described the Darknet as a place used by pedophiles to abuse the right of children.
“Before we did this study, it was certainly my view that the darknet is a good thing, but it’s hampering the rights of children and creating a place where pedophiles can act with impunity,” said Dr. Owen.
According to the National Statistics on Child Abuse, nearly 700 children are being abused annually. In 2015, about 683,000 children were victims of abuse.
Majority of these abuses start from the Darknet, as the study outcome of Dr. Owen confirmed.
The Taskforce and all stakeholders have firmly said that they will arrest and prosecute all child predators across the country irrespective of where they start their dealings. The arrested suspects are meant to send a signal that the Taskforce is working.
“By arresting and prosecuting child predators across the country, our Taskforces are sending a clear message that we are working together better than ever before to bring these perpetrators to justice. The ICAC TaskForce dedicated efforts and professionalism to help fulfill the ultimate goal of keeping children safe,” said Lt. Andrea Grossman of the Los Angeles Police Department. He is also the Commander of the Los Angeles Regional ICAC TaskForce and chair of the ICAC Public Awareness and Outreach Committee.
A father and son were recently arrested for uploading a child abuse video on the Darknet. This obviously reveals the burning desire of the agencies to prosecute Darknet child abusers.