Sgt. Josh Moulin: Computer Forensics and Child Exploitation
Computer Forensics and Child Exploitation – From the Case Files of the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force
Occasionally I will write about a case that I have investigated within our task force to provide some real life examples of how technology is used to commit crimes in our society.
In late 2005 the Southern Oregon High-Tech Crimes Task Force received information from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) about a male in Central Point, Oregon who was in possession of child pornography. A screen name was provided with the report from NCMEC and by serving subpoenas to Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) I was able to determine the suspect’s true identity was that of a man named Mark Doty. Just after receiving this information, a completely different informant provided me with information about a man named Mark Doty in Central Point who was engaging in sexual intercourse with young boys at his home.
Between the two reports and other information gathered during our investigation enough probable cause was established to apply for a search warrant for Doty’s home and computer. During the spring of 2006 I wrote a search warrant and took it to a judge for review. The judge agreed that enough probable cause existed and granted the warrant.
Members of my task force as well as federal law enforcement agents executed the search warrant at Mr. Doty’s residence. When we served the warrant Doty was at home and I interviewed him about our investigation while other agents searched his home and seized evidence.
Several items of evidence were transported to our digital evidence forensics laboratory and over the next several months they were all analyzed. At the conclusion of the forensic examination evidence was found that Doty was possessing images depicting children involved in sexual abuse. It was also found that Doty was using Yahoo! Messenger to find young boys and compel them to perform sexual acts in front of a web camera. He did this by portraying himself to be a Police Officer and threatening police action against these boys if they did not do what he asked. Unfortunately, this tactic worked and several young boys did perform various sex acts for Doty.
On September 12th 2006 I arrested Doty on several felony charges for child pornography. In February of 2007 Mark Doty took his case to trial and was convicted on fourteen felony counts of Encouraging Child Sexual Abuse and was sentenced to prison.
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Thanks for all the positive comments! I teach classes to both kids and parents about the dangers of the Internet and how to be safe in cyber space. What is amazing to me is the lack of education parents are providing their children in this area. So many parents are tech-challenged and don’t take serious the life-threatening dangers online.
When I show parents some of the local cases we have investigated and what is happening to kids online they are overwhelmed and shocked. This is a problem that we cannot arrest our way out of, but will have to be a combination of enforcement and education to reduce the number of potential victims available to these offenders.
I agree with Joyce. People like that should never be let out of jail. How sick. Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Sargeant Moulin. It really lets us know how careful we need to be with our children. Mine are grown, thank goodness, but I have friends with young ones and I know they police them like crazy. It’s a good thing!
Carla, my youngest is 20 and I still go in his room and peek over his shoulder to see what he’s up to!
Josh is in training today, but he’ll be by later to answer questions.
pabrown – Sgt. Moulin is the real deal. He’s actually out there investigating these cases and putting the handcuffs on the bad guys. Everyone, please ask your questions while he’s here.
Carla – You’re a good mom. Computers and TV should not be substitutes for parental supervision. Instead, those activities should be supervised.
They can’t put people like this far enough UNDER the prisons, IMO. I have 2 boys, ages 11 and 13 (11 yr old is autistic), and they’re never on the computer when I can’t see what they’re doing. Whatever happened to the days when my mom shooed us out of the house in the morning and we didn’t come back ’til she called us in for dinner?
Thanks for posting this, Lee, and thanks to Sgt. Moulin for the information!
Agreed, the recidivism of child abusers is extremely high. Until courts and laws recognize that, these people will continue to prey on children. And I expect each time around they will get smarter about hiding their tracks. I’m glad people like Sgt. Moulin are out there outsmarting them.
I hope he got a VERY LONG sentence! People like that should never be allowed out of prison.
A detective I know said that anytime he’s interviewed these guys in prison, the first thing they plan to do when they get out is victimize another child. The courts need to realize that these people CANNOT be rehabilitated. They should be sentenced to life with no parole.