CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) - The arrest of a Red Bank man accused of soliciting nude pictures of a 13-year old girl on Facebook has opened up the discussion about local cyber sex crimes.
WDEF recently spoke to a local undercover detective who specifically investigates crimes committed over the internet.
"The internet is not safe. It's a great tool and great resource for information and for learning but there's another side to the internet," the detective said.
That was revealed when James Renfro, 21, of Red Bank allegedly tried to get a 13-year old girl to send him nude pictures of herself on Facebook. According to the detective, that cyber crime was only the tip of the iceberg.
"What I've often see is a man posing as a female child or female teen trying to get another female teen to send pictures for a teen lesbian site or teen sex site," the detective said.
According to authorities, there has been an increase in children downloading free apps on their mobile internet devices that allows them to text to chat-rooms that may often have child predators.
"I've had a lot of those cases where you're just in a chat-room or you're on one of these text-apps and you get solicited for sending nudity to them," said the investigator.
Authorities say parents need to keep a closer eye on their child's internet activity because there is always someone in cyberspace looking for a victim.
"It's almost like taking your child to a state prison and asking can your child go into the sex offender unit and spend the day," said the detective.
According to the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, one in 25 children ages 10 to 17 receive an online sexual solicitation from an adult. 4% of cell phone carrying teenagers say they have sent sexual material via text messaging while 15% of cell pone carrying teenagers say they have received sexual material via text messaging.