McDonough, GA (Aug. 1, 2017) – The Henry County District Attorney’s Office is honored to have two staff members join the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force – doubling the resources working to stop child victimization locally.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Jodi Spiegel and Investigator Greg Patterson attended the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s ICAC training last week to become certified to track and prosecute child predators. Spiegel and Patterson lead the Henry County District Attorney’s Office Crimes Against Women and Children Unit, which prosecutes domestic violence and child molestation cases.

The two will join two Henry County Police officers assigned to the GBI task force to track and investigate predators who download and distribute sexually-explicit images of minors.

The GBI class included training on digital forensics, intelligence sharing, investigating human trafficking and prosecuting sexual exploitation cases, along with other information.

“We are committed to keeping our children safe and prosecuting anyone who victimizes children,” District Attorney Darius Pattillo said. “That is why we are increasing our resources to do everything we can to help address this problem.”

The Henry County task force will work jointly with GBI investigators across the state to investigate and prosecute cyber sex crimes, child pornography and commercial sexual exploitation of children cases.

“The ICAC program was created because of the rising number of youth using the internet, the increase in child pornography and the rise of predators searching for underage victims online,” Spiegel said. “Unfortunately, we are seeing this in Henry County, as well as across the nation. This training allows us to join law enforcement globally in finding these images, stopping their transmission online and prosecuting those who not only possess these photographs, but distribute them as well.”

In addition to working with law enforcement, Spiegel and Patterson will work to teach parents and educators how to better monitor children’s Internet usage.

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