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The Champion

August 2015 , Page 34 

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From Chat Room to Courtroom: The Internet, Experts, and Entrapment

By Jason B. Sheffield and Douglas N. Peters

For many people email, text messaging, instant messenger, video chat channels (iChat or Skype) and online chat rooms or forums, i.e., computer-mediated communications (CMCs), have provided new and exciting ways to communicate sexually. Reports indicate that these technologies also have led to sexual risk-taking wherein people play out deviant sexual desires and fantasies in CMCs. From teenagers and one U.S. congressman taking risqué smartphone “selfies,” to the behaviors portrayed on “To Catch a Predator,” everyday people are turning to the Internet and to CMCs for sexually exploration in ways they never would do in face-to-face (FTF) interactions. While playing out sexual fantasies is not illegal, CMCs that are sexual in nature can lead to problems in life and may have dire legal consequences.

CMCs are also a new way for real child predators to find children to sexually exploit. The rise of such activity has spawned a new type of police investigation called the “Proac

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