Trinity Mount Ministries

Showing posts with label Montgomery County. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Montgomery County. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Montgomery County Police, experts report increase in internet crimes against children

 Randi Bass

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Experts and local police departments say criminals looking to exploit children are taking advantage of your kids spending more time on their laptops and cell phones during the pandemic.

“Parents are the ones who are really in the dark about these apps and how these kids can communicate with adults,” said Lt. Gerald McFarland of the Montgomery County Police Department’s Special Victims Investigations Division.

He says SVID is cracking down on cybercriminals, as the department has noticed an increase in the victimization of kids online since the onset of COVID-19.

“Children are sharing images or videos of themselves and they think they can trust the person they’re sending it to. [Child exploiters] can use those pictures to try and get more pictures, try and extort money from them, or worst case, try to meet with them in person,” said Lt. McFarland.

Callahan Walsh is a child advocate with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He works closely with his father, John Walsh, NCMEC’s founder. He explains how COVID-19 has changed the M.O. of some tech-savvy traffickers.

“With these child sex traffickers, their buyers were more reluctant to meet in person because of the lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions. Sex traffickers were then selling images and videos of their victims online, like on a subscription basis,” said Callahan Walsh.

These traffickers aren’t keeping these methods to themselves either. NCMEC says traffickers are passing along tips to other potential predators.

“We saw chatter on the dark web from child exploiters sharing best practices and tips on how to groom children, how to lure children, how to exploit children on different platforms,” said Walsh.

NCMEC preaches prevention as a key step in stopping online sex crimes. Walsh says there’s plenty of red flags you can be on the lookout for.

“If your child is very guarded about their online behavior, won’t talk to you about what they’re doing or who they’re talking to online, or they’re talking to people they don’t know in real life,” said Walsh.

It’s a reality no parent wants to face, but Walsh says it’s critically important to have honest conversations about online safety with your kids.

“You need to have those conversations early, often and ongoing. The same conversation with your youngest child about online safety is vastly different than the one you’re having with your oldest child about safety,” said Walsh.

MCPD SVID and NCMEC encourage you to report suspicious online activity to your local police department and submit a detailed tip to NCMEC’s CyberTipline.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Woman charged with selling 2-year-old for sex leads police to child molestation suspect

By John Donnelly, FOX 26 News

(Originally Posted on Mar 05 2019 01:11PM CST)

Houston - His name is Michael Lowry and when we rang, he answered the door to his Southeast Houston home. He confirmed who he was. “Are you Michael Lowry?” I asked. “Yeah,” was his reluctant reply.

According to court documents this started last year with an investigation by the Montgomery county DA's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. They intercepted a woman named Sarah Peters who was heading to Conroe "who agreed to allow an adult male to engage in sexual intercourse with her two year old daughter in exchange for $1,200."

When Peters and her daughter arrived to meet Lowry, she was taken into custody, and Child Protective Services took custody of her daughter.

That then led investigators to Lowry. She told them she allowed Lowry to gratify himself while touching her daughter. She showed them messages sent via the social media site "Kik." They discussed getting more naked pictures of the girl. He allegedly wrote to her, "The only reason I need to stop seeing you is I want you both," and "I remember you talking about Benadryl, and I imagine the things we could do with her sleeping."

Peters admitted to exchanging child pornography with Lowry on several occasions. Numerous images were located on his phone containing items of "child pornography" and "child erotica".

Detectives went to Lowry's home. His wife showed them his cell phone, laptop, and thumb drive  allegedly containing child pornography. She stated that she and her husband have an open marriage, and that she was aware of the sexual relationship between Lowry and Peters. Upon finding out that the two had spent the night at a hotel with Peters' daughter present, Lowry's wife requested that the relationship end.

Lowry allegedly denied having any sexual contact with the girl, but the "defendant further admitted to talking to Peters about having children together and raising the children in an incestuous family."

He had not yet been arrested, but was already choosing to be silent.

"We'd like to talk to you about the charges against you. Did you really try to have sex with a two year old girl?" I asked. He smirked and shut the door. Hours later he was in custody. He had been living just three blocks from a school.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Father of missing Hoggle children not giving up hope in finding them:

We are coming up on one year since two little children disappeared in Montgomery County while in their mother's care. Prosecutors do not believe the kids are alive, but their father told FOX 5 there is just nothing to prove that.
"You're going to have to show me some type of hard evidence for me to not believe that they're out there," said Troy Turner, the children’s father.
Jacob Hoggle, who was two years old at the time, disappeared on September 7, 2014. His mother, Catherine, had left with him, but returned alone giving family members various excuses. The next morning, she did the same with 3-year-old Sarah.
Catherine Hoggle then vanished herself for several days. She was eventually found wandering the streets in Germantown and taken into custody.
On Wednesday, Hoggle remains in a psychiatric hospital facing charges including child neglect. She has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and is awaiting a fourth competency hearing.
Hoggle maintains that her children are safe. She says she dropped them off with someone, but refuses to give any details. Her lawyer refuses to allow police to interrogate her citing Fifth Amendment rights.
Turner told FOX 5, "It seems to me she has more rights in that place, whether it's HIPAA or the rights of someone on trial, than my kids do to be found."
Hoggle's defense attorney David Fensen said, "I don't know that Catherine knows what happened."
He continued, "I don't know that she could relay it if she knew."
Hoggle is due back in court on September 18. If she is eventually found competent to stand trial, the Montgomery County State's Attorney's Office would have to decide whether to pursue a "no bodies" homicide case.
Anyone with information about Sarah and Jacob Hoggle's whereabouts is asked to call Montgomery County Police immediately at 301-279-8000. Callers may remain anonymous.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Mother of Missing Hoggle Kids Faces Two Trials:

Family members of Sarah and Jacob Hoggle, missing for 9 months, say the children are alive. Their mother won't disclose their location.
Catherine Hoggle, the Montgomery County mother charged with child neglect in the disappearance of her two children, faces two rounds of legal battles this summer: a criminal trial and a civil fight with the children’s father.
Missing siblings Jacob Hoggle, 2, and Sarah Hoggle, 4, have not been seen since early September 2014. Their mentally ill mother was with them last and refuses to tell the children’s father, her mother, or police, where the children are. Those family members remain steadfast in their belief that the children are alive.
Catherine Hoggle – a schizophrenic who reportedly refused to stay on her medication -- remains in the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center. Hoggle says the children are safe, but has not given any information on their whereabouts.
She is scheduled to go to trial July 8 on charges of child neglect and obstructing and hindering an investigation in connection with the disappearance of the youngsters, reports Montgomery Community Media.
The children’s father, Troy Turner, who is Hoggle’s common-law husband, is seeking to be appointed her legal guardian. Hoggle’s attorney has filed to dismiss the case, says MCM, but an Aug. 6 trial is scheduled in that matter.
There are two theories on the fate of the children. Turner and Lindsey Hoggle, the children’s grandmother, believe Catherine gave the youngsters to someone to care for them. Montgomery County Police say they believe the children are dead, although no bodies have been found.