Strict penalty needed for predators

Published 9:30 am Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Looking for proof that it pays to talk to your children and grandchildren about the dangers of the Internet? Look no farther than the Mossman family from Deering.

They will make a visit to a Butler County courtroom next month to testify in a case involving a convicted sexual predator who broke the rules of his probation and attempted to contact a 12-year-old girl.

The individual accused of this is a stranger to the family and allegedly asked the girl a variety of questions about who she was and where she lived.

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The individual is a registered sex offender who served time in prison seven years ago.

This situation wouldn’t have ever happened without the social networking site Facebook that essentially allowed the accused offender to target potential victims.

That is not to say that Facebook and other Internet sites like it are in and of themselves bad. But it does mean that they create an added responsibility for adults who must make sure they understand the privacy settings and the things they can do to help their families stay safe.

This 12-year-old and other young girls who are expected to take the witness stand have tremendous courage to face this head on and not back down from it.

It won’t be easy but this and the involvement of the parents set a tremendous example.

Only with firm action and harsh consequences will our society be able to send the right message to those who prey on children.