The following is a news release from the Office of the Louisiana Attorney General:
BATON ROUGE, LA – Joined by numerous police departments, sheriff’s offices, and state and federal agencies at a press conference this afternoon – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry today announced the arrests of 51 people on child exploitation charges as part of Operation Broken Heart.
The Louisiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force participated in Operation Broken Heart IV, a two-month long National ICAC investigative and prevention effort alongside 60 coordinated task forces across the country – representing over 3,500 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
“My office is committed to doing all we can to protect our State’s children from predators,” said General Landry. “The great teamwork by all our ICAC partners, including the LBI’s examiners and investigators, has resulted in the arrests of 51 people from all parts of Louisiana.”
“Most of us cannot imagine the horrific things these dedicated law professionals have to see and hear to bring child predators to justice,” added General Landry. “But all of us are grateful for their work to save children’s lives.”
In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of internet safety, the Internet Crimes Against Children taskforce – which includes 155 law enforcement agencies throughout Louisiana – arrested the 51 perpetrators from April 1st to May 31st on charges ranging from possession, distribution, and production of sexual abuse images and videos of children to Solicitation of a Minor.
“Sometimes the number of arrests and charges causes us to forget there are victims in these situations,” explained General Landry. “Every time a video or image is viewed, a child is re-victimized; and unfortunately, we have seen that a high percentage of people who engage in child pornography end up being hands on abusers.”
Operation Broken Heart aims to (1) arrest as many offenders as possible who: (a) possess, manufacture, and distribute child pornography; (b) engage in online enticement of children for sexual purposes; (c) engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (commonly referred to as child prostitution), (d) engage in child sex tourism (traveling abroad for the purpose of sexually abusing foreign children) and (2) provide community education to prevent technology related child exploitation and abuse.