Monday, March 12, 2007

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to Host Interactive Cyber Safety Town Hall Meeting

SUGAR LAND – Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his Cyber Crimes Unit will host an interactive Cyber Safety Town Hall meeting in Sugar Land on March 22 to inform parents and students about online safety.

Attorney General Abbott and the Cyber Crimes Unit investigators will reveal how child predators use emerging technology to target their victims, demonstrate how social networking sites put teenagers at risk, and provide Sugar Land parents with innovative, real-world tools to protect their kids. The presentation, which is free of charge and open to the public, will feature invaluable Internet safety tips and teach parents how to decipher chatroom lingo.

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Attorney General Abbott discusses the risks of child predators

Attorney General Abbott discusses online child predators

“Dangerous criminals are using Internet chat rooms, personal Web pages, and social networking sites to prey on young Texans,” said Attorney General Abbott. “Right here in Sugar Land, children unwittingly may be putting themselves in danger. Our Cyber Safety Town Hall meeting will provide parents with the resources they need to keep their children safe on the Internet.”

Date: Thursday, March 22, 2007
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Dulles High School, Rodgers Auditorium
550 Dulles, Sugar Land, TX 77478


The Attorney General’s interactive presentation, which includes real-world advice from Cyber Crimes Unit investigators, provides the audience with an opportunity to ask questions and seek answers about Internet safety. Attendees will receive copies of the new “Internet Safety for Parents” video, which offers critically important safety advice and teaches parents how to determine when a child is providing too much information to a potential predator.

Attorney General Abbott also encouraged high school students to attend the Cyber Safety Town Hall meeting: “Teenagers who use social networking Web sites like MySpace.com will learn how to safely interact with their friends but avoid revealing personal information that could unintentionally lead predators to them and their families.”

The presentation, which includes straight talk about predators who solicit children online, includes mature content that may not be suitable for elementary school students. All parents and high school students are strongly encouraged to attend. Junior high school students should attend at their parents’ discretion.

Attorney General Abbott has earned a national reputation for aggressively arresting and prosecuting online child predators. Shortly after taking office, he created the Cyber Crimes Unit, which targets online predators by assuming the identities of young teenagers in Internet chat rooms. Investigators have arrested 93 men who used teen chat rooms to arrange meetings with underage victims. In addition, grand juries have indicted 57 men on child pornography charges brought by Cyber Crimes Unit prosecutors.

In May 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded the Cyber Crimes Unit a $300,000 grant that funded an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. The grant enabled the Unit to increase cooperative efforts with law enforcement agencies across Texas and to expand the Unit’s online child exploitation crackdown.

Attorney General Abbott’s Fugitive Unit, established in 2003, further protects children by locating and arresting parole-violating sex offenders. The Fugitive Unit has arrested more than 450 parolees, unregistered sex offenders and other convicted criminals. The combined efforts of the Cyber Crimes Unit and the Fugitive Unit have resulted in more than 500 sexual predator arrests.

For more information, contact the Texas Attorney General’s office at (800) 252-8011 or visit the Attorney General’s Web site at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.