Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Ch. 10 to air sting that netted several pedophiles on Sunday
By Asaf Carmel
Tags: Israel, pedophiles
Channel 10 will air Sunday a sting operation it organized that led to the arrest of several men suspected of trying to seduce underage girls online.
Over the past week, a team of Channel 10 journalists headed by Dov Gilhar took part in chat room conversations, presenting themselves as 13-year-old girls, and invited the suspects to a rented house in Tel Aviv that was wired with hidden cameras.
Journalists were exposed to blatant sexual passes by men between the ages of 24 and 62," a Channel 10 official said on Thursday. "Offenders offered to have sex with the 'girls,' sent hardcore pornographic images and recorded themselves performing illicit acts on Webcams."
According to the indictments later filed against the suspects, Channel 10 journalists were told not to initiate any conversations with suspects, but only to respond to their approaches via ICQ and Messenger. In addition, they were told to agree to meet the suspects only if they suggested it first.
When the suspects arrived at the house, they were confronted by Gilhar, who asked for their response to allegations that they tried to seduce underage girls and then showed them the pornographic material they had sent. Suspects were arrested by police waiting outside as they left.
"We decided to launch a hard-hitting journalistic campaign against the sickening epidemic that is affecting every household and endangering every child that sits in his room and surfs the Web," Gilad Adin, the director general of Channel 10 News, said. "The upfront behavior and lack of scruples by the adult men shocked us time and again, day in and day out, as we were working on the expose."
Channel 10's sting operation's concept is very similar to the one employed by U.S. television news show, Dateline NBC. Of the 200 people tried in U.S. courts using evidence gathered during the sting, more than 120 have already been found guilty, the network claims.
Channel 10's Adin added, "We hope our expose and fast and determined action by the police and the State Prosecution will scare anyone from sitting down in front of the computer and try to lure out girls and ruin their childhood."