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Reporting Federal Crimes. Protecting Children from Abuse and Exploitation. An Overview: Reporting Obligations. The Archdiocese has agreed – as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice – to report any suspected violations of federal laws pertaining to the sexual abuse of minors

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Reporting federal crimes

Reporting Federal Crimes

Protecting Children from

Abuse and Exploitation


An overview reporting obligations
An Overview: Reporting Obligations

  • The Archdiocese has agreed – as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice – to report any suspected violations of federal laws pertaining to the sexual abuse of minors

    • The agreement states:

      • The RCAB shall report in writing to the Chief of the Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the supervisor of the Civil Rights and Public Corruption Desk at the Boston Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation any suspected or alleged violations of federal criminal law involving the abuse or exploitation of children (persons under 18 years of age) including violations of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1460-1466, 1470, 1591, 2251-2252A, 2260, 2421-2423, and 2425, within 48 hours of learning of such suspected violations. The RCAB shall cooperate fully in the investigation of such reported incidents.

  • These reporting obligations are in addition to the state law/Department of Social Services reporting requirements that were the subject of prior trainings


The basics
The Basics

  • There are no “mandated reporters” under federal law

    • The Archdiocese has new obligations regarding federal law

    • You may report suspected violations of federal law directly to federal law enforcement officers. However, you are not required by law to do so

    • The Archdiocese, under its agreement with the Department of Justice, must report all suspected violations of the specified federal statutes to the U.S. Attorney and the FBI within 48 hours of learning of the suspected violations


Report suspected violations of federal statutes protecting children
Report Suspected Violations of Federal Statutes Protecting Children

  • The Archdiocese is committed to protecting children from abuse and exploitation in any form

    • All personnel need to work together to serve the best interests of the children

  • When in doubt, immediately REPORT any potential violation to Father John Connolly, Special Assistant to the Cardinal


Summary of training
Summary of Training Children

  • This presentation will:

    • first, give an overview of the federal laws protecting persons under 18 years of age (“minors”) and your obligations to report suspected violations of these laws;

    • second, describe the relevant federal laws and what to do if you suspect a violation has occurred; and

    • third, review commonly asked questions and sample situations that require reporting


An overview state and federal law
An Overview: State and Federal Law Children

  • The key federal statutes discussed in this training prohibit:

    • Child Pornography: possessing, receiving, distributing or otherwise interacting with “child pornography”;

    • “Traveler” and “Trafficking” Crimes: crossing state lines to engage in a sexual act with a minor or in the sexual trafficking of a minor; and

    • Obscene Material: activities that result in a minor’s exposure to “obscene” materials, as defined under the law



This presentation will discuss
This Presentation Will Discuss: Children

  • Why reporting federal crimes is important

  • The laws and what they mean

  • What to do if you suspect a violation has occurred

  • Frequently asked questions and answers

  • Sample situations that require reporting


The federal statutes
The Federal Statutes Children

Child Pornography Crimes


The federal statutes1
The Federal Statutes Children

“Traveler” and “Trafficking” Crimes




The federal statutes4
The Federal Statutes Children

Obscenity Crimes



Why this training
Why This Training? Children

  • The Archdiocese has agreed to report all potential violations of these statutes that involve minors

  • The agreement between the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Archdiocese of Boston also requires that all Archdiocesan personnel who have been trained in reporting potential violations of state law and all new Archdiocesan personnel receive this training

  • This training complements the training conducted on mandatory reporting required for potential violations of Massachusetts state laws


What is the purpose of these laws
What Is the Purpose of These Laws? Children

  • Protect minors from abuse in the United States and abroad

  • Punish individuals who engage in a sexual act with a minor or who promote or benefit from such acts

  • Curtail the production, use, and distribution of materials involving children engaged in sexual acts or obscene depictions

     These laws apply at work, at home, and in other settings


What types of conduct must be reported
What Types of Conduct Must Be Reported? Children

The federal laws addressed in this presentation cover three general areas of prohibited conduct that must be reported:

  • Child pornography: sexually explicit images and conduct involving a minor

    • Common violations include the possession, receipt, and distribution of images with a computer via the Internet or email

  • “Traveler” and “Trafficking” crimes involving a minor:

    • Common violations include taking or enticing a child to cross state lines for purposes of sexual contact with the child or crossing state lines as an adult to meet with a child for sexual contact

  • Obscenity involving a minor

    • Commonly violated by exposing minors to “obscene” material


Child pornography

Prohibited by 18 U.S.C. Children§§ 2251-2252A, 2260

Child Pornography


How is minor defined
How Is “Minor” Defined? Children

  • A “minor” is any person under the age of 18 years


Visual depictions of minors
“Visual Depictions of Minors” Children

  • For the purposes of these laws, visual depictions of minors include, without limitation:

    • Information stored on a computer disk or hard drive

    • Books and Magazines

    • Videos, DVDs, and Films

    • Photographs (developed or undeveloped)


Child pornography1
Child Pornography Children

  • Report any suspected activity that includes:

    • Possession, receipt or transmission of any visual depiction of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct or child pornography

      • includes receiving and distributing via email or through any other use of the Internet or computer

    • any advertisement seeking or offering to create or distribute such depictions

    • transporting or shipping child pornography

      • shipping includes mailing through the U.S. Post Office, through any common carrier such as UPS or Federal Express, and sending pictures via email or otherwise over the Internet


Child pornography2
Child Pornography Children

  • Report suspected illegal activities involving a minor including:

    • using a minor for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct

    • enlisting the help of a minor to assist any person in engaging in sexually explicit conduct

    • participating in any sexually explicit conduct with a minor


A review
A Review: Children

  • ANY involvement with child pornography must be immediately reported to Father John Connolly, Special Assistant to the Cardinal

    • You may also choose to report the incident to federal law enforcement

    • The Archdiocese is committed to protecting children from abuse and exploitation

    • Reporting child pornography is necessary to stop current abuse and protect children from future abuse

    • If you see or hear about any instance of child pornography: REPORT!


Traveler and trafficking crimes involving minors
“Traveler” and “Trafficking” Crimes Involving Minors Children

  • Prohibited by 18 U.S.C. §§ 1591, 2421-2423 and 2425


Traveler and trafficking crimes involving minors1
“Traveler” and “Trafficking” Crimes Involving Minors Children

  • Report suspected illegal activities including:

    • transporting a minor across state lines for purposes of sexual conduct

    • enticing a minor to cross state lines to engage in sexual conduct

    • encouraging the participation of a minor in a commercial sex act or prostitution

    • adults who cross state lines to engage in sexual conduct with a minor

    • deriving any financial or other benefit from these acts

    • using the Internet or any other means to disclose personal information about a minor with the intent to encourage that minor to engage in sexual activity


Obscenity involving minors
Obscenity Involving Minors Children

  • Prohibited by 18 U.S.C. §§ 1460-1466A and 1470

  • This presentation will address obscenity laws and reporting obligations as they relate to minors

    • This is not a training session on the legal meanings of obscenity statutes in general or how they relate to circumstances involving adults only


Obscenity defined
Obscenity Defined Children

  • “Obscene” has a legal definition and means that the material:

    • appeals to prurient interest

    • depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, conduct specifically defined by the applicable law; and

    • lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value

    • REPORT all situations involving minors that might meet these standards, including any “close calls”


Obscenity involving minors1
Obscenity Involving Minors Children

  • Report any suspected illegal activities including:

    • giving or showing obscene material to a minor

    • transporting obscene material across state lines for the purposes of exposing it to a minor

    • mailing or sending obscene material to a minor

      • includes sending obscene material such as photographs, audio files, videos or written descriptions to a minor via email or over the Internet


A review1
A Review: Children

  • No person may create, possess, receive, distribute or otherwise interact with any material that depicts a minor engaged in a sexually explicit act

  • No person may show or give obscenity to a minor

  • Sexual conduct involving minors is always illegal and must be reported


Attempt and conspiracy
Attempt and Conspiracy Children

  • These prohibited acts need not actually occur to violate the law

  • Attempting to violate or agreeing to violate any of these statutes is also a crime

  • Any suspected attempt of agreement to engage in the illegal conduct discussed in this presentation should be reported


The consequences
The Consequences Children

  • Penalties for violations of these laws range from fines to imprisonment

    To ensure the protection of children, the Archdiocese has agreed to report any suspected criminal offenses involving minors to the U.S. Attorney and the FBI within 48 hours learning of the suspected violation



Step one
Step One Children

  • All suspected or alleged violations of any of these statutes as they pertain to the abuse or exploitation of minors must be immediately reported to Father John Connolly, Special Assistant to the Cardinal

    • Father Connolly’s contact number: (617) 782-2544

  • You may also choose to report the incident to federal law enforcement

    • Local FBI office contact number: 617-742-5533

  • Report situations involving an emergency or an imminent risk to the minor directly to local law enforcement

    • Call 911 in emergency situations

      Even if you are not sure if something is illegal,

    • REPORT IT!


Step two
Step Two Children

  • If possible, preserve the potentially illegal images, recordings or other materials

    • Law enforcement officials may need the materials for their investigation into the violation

    • Do not alter the evidence in any way

      • For example, retain the entire computer containing child pornography rather than simply printing the pictures to give to law enforcement


Step three
Step Three Children

  • The Archdiocese’s lawyers will report any suspected or alleged violations of these laws involving a minor to the U.S. Attorney and the FBI within 48 hours


Step four
Step Four Children

  • The Archdiocese will fully cooperate in any government investigation of the reported incident



Question what if i am not sure whether the person is under 18 years of age
Question Children: What if I am not sure whether the person is under 18 years of age?

Answer:

  • Report the incident to Father John Connolly

    • After the incident is reported, the Archdiocese and its lawyers will investigate the incident, determine the age of the person involved, and decide whether the agreement requires reporting the matter to the government

    • It is better to be overly cautious and report an incident rather than remain silent when you are not sure whether the person involved is a minor


Question will the reporter s identity be protected
Question Children:Will the reporter’s identity be protected?

Answer:

  • The reporter’s identity will be disclosed to law enforcement officials but efforts will be made to otherwise protect this information

  • It may ultimately be necessary to disclose the reporter’s identity or other information further if a crime is discovered


Mandated reporters state law review
“Mandated Reporters:” State Law Review Children

  • Massachusetts law requires persons whose work regularly brings them into contact with children and who have been specifically designated by the legislature to report suspected abuse or neglect

    • Among these “mandated reporters” are members of the clergy, persons performing official duties on behalf of the Archdiocese and persons employed by the Archdiocese to supervise, educate, coach, train or counsel a child on a regular basis

  • A mandated reporter must notify DSS immediately when he or she has reasonable cause to believe or suspect that a child under 18 is being abused or neglected

    • Notify DSS: (1) call the DSS area office during working hours; (2) call the Hotline (1-800-792-5200) during nights or weekends; (3) submit a written 51A form to DSS within 48 hours

    • Notify your superior: in some circumstances, it is permissible to notify your superior who is then responsible for filing with DSS

  • For more information on the Massachusetts Mandated Reporters law, consult materials from the DSS and District Attorneys Association training and M.G.L.c. 119 § 51A


Sample cases
Sample Cases Children


Sample cases1

You receive an unsolicited email with an attachment. You open the attachment and discover that it is a picture of two children in a sexually explicit pose.

You overhear a person affiliated with the Archdiocese talking on his cell phone about participating in sexual activity with a minor.

You learn that a person affiliated with the Archdiocese has shown or plans to show obscene materials to a minor.

You learn that a young teenager has gone for a weekend trip with a priest and he has been acting oddly since returning. The teenager will not tell you anything when asked, but a friend of his says that something sexual happened on the trip.

Sample Cases


Sample cases2
Sample Cases open the attachment and discover that it is a picture of two children in a sexually explicit pose.

  • You find sexually explicit letters written by an adult and addressed to a child in a file cabinet in the back room of your office.

  • You find child pornography on a computer in a person affiliated with the Archdiocese's office.

  • You are at a church function and one of the children is sitting alone in the corner. You approach her and she tells you that an adult sexually molested her but begs you not to tell anyone else.


What should you do in these situations
What should you do in these situations? open the attachment and discover that it is a picture of two children in a sexually explicit pose.

  • Make a report to Father John Connolly, Special Assistant to the Cardinal, after fulfilling all state reporting obligations

    • You may also report the incident to federal law enforcement officers

  • Keep any evidence safe or turn it over to Father John Connolly to assist law enforcement officers in their investigation


Remember protect the child
Remember: Protect the Child open the attachment and discover that it is a picture of two children in a sexually explicit pose.

  • You do not need to be “100% positive” that a minor is being abused or exploited to report the incident

  • Even if the materials or actions do not violate the specific statutes discussed in this presentation, state law also prohibits abuse and neglect of children and suspected violations should be reported


Sources of additional information
Sources of Additional Information open the attachment and discover that it is a picture of two children in a sexually explicit pose.

  • For more information on federal crimes involving minors and resources available to victims, visit the following websites:

    • Department of Justice: www.usdoj.gov

      • Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at www.usdoj.gov/criminal/ceos/

    • FBI: www.fbi.gov/innocent.htm

    • National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: www.missingkids.com


Thank you
Thank You open the attachment and discover that it is a picture of two children in a sexually explicit pose.

  • Questions?

  • Contact the Office of Child Advocacy, Implementation, and Oversight

    • 617-746-5994