More than twenty years in prison – that’s what two Waycross men were sentenced to after being convicted on federal charges involving the sexual exploitation of children. The sentences were announced at the U.S.Attorney’s office Monday. One received 25 years, the other nearly 24 behind – years of supervised release to follow. Both the men convicted are in their early twenties – and it’s important to remember – in the Federal system they will serve their full time.
Authorities say a case like this is a clear indication of why they use the term predator. The investigation began when the father of a 12 year old girl called the Ware County Sheriff– concerned about inappropriate contact with her on facebook. From there – Detective Hope Salinas says it quickly expanded, “I’ve worked many cases and it’s been my experience that a lot of it takes place through facebook and kik and things like that – so the first thing I do is start there.”
That investigation eventually turned up two suspects – 24 year old Jacques Taylor and 23 year old Donnel Shavers – along with at least ten victims, most under the age of sixteen. U.S. Attorney Ed Tarver explains, “A review of Taylor’s facebook account revealed that Taylor enticed a twelve year old female to take photographs of her genitalia and then transfer it to Taylor via facebook…an investigation of Shavers facebook account showed that shavers transmitted photographs of his genitalia to a number of minor females and requested that these young minor females send him photographs of their genitalia…Taylor and Shavers showed a depraved indifference to the harm that they were inflicting upon these innocent female children. They compounded the damage by taking turns raping a twelve year old female girl.”
He says the two had just gotten started – the acts taking place over the span of about six months. Homeland Security Agent Jason Medica says these kind of cases have become increasingly common in the internet age, “It is important for us to remember that sexual predators are on the internet every day looking for victims to exploit – we need to arm our children and their caregivers with the information they need to protect themselves against the predators lurking on the web.”
Authorities urge adults to monitor all of their child’s online activities, teach your child not to share personal information online and teach them to be wary of friend requests from strangers.