Ratchet Page Not an Internet Crime Says Law Enforcement Official Dealing With the Investigation

By Diana L. Chapman

 Images that blossomed on Facebook pages of "ratchet" girls in the Harbor Area in early December were not criminal and were considered child "erotica," rather than pornography, says a lead investigator who heads a regional task force that deals with internet crime against children.

However, Los Angeles Police Lt. Andrea Grossman reported it as cyberbullying to Facebook and the company removed those sites within one hour of her call.

No penal codes applied in this instance, Grossman explained.

"It's not a criminal act," said Grossman, who heads the regional ICAC, Internet Crimes Against Children, a multi-agency task force of local, state and federal law enforcement officers. "We looked at the site. It was child erotica. That is not illegal.

"It's not (child) pornography," which is a crime, she explained.

 Grossman says the Facebook sites that appeared around Dec. 2 using students images, some of scantily clad girls from San Pedro and Banning High Schools,  did appear to be "pure cyberbullying"; However, currently no laws exist to make cyberbullying a crime giving the agency no teeth to legally force internet sites, such as My Space or Facebook, to pull cyberbullying sites down.

Facebook, however, was fully cooperative, she said.

"We can't force them to take down the sites," Grossmann said. "It's up to Facebook. But once I contacted Facebook, they responded in one hour which is pretty good time."

Grossman's task force covers five counties: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Orange and San Bernadino. Crimes involving children on the internet, Grossman said, should be reported immediately to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children which acts like a clearing house for such crimes and alerts local authorities in charge. For instance, if an internet pornography complaint came in to the National Center involving a child in San Pedro, Grossman said, her task force would be notified to investigate immediately.

 The task force also must report back to the center as to what happened with the case.

The local issue erupted when the internet group San Pedro California began complaining about the sites saying they had "offensive," demeaning, and abusive photographs of girls from the area along with derogatory comments.

Those commenting on the sites called some of the girls "hos" (whores) or claimed that some girls gave sex freely. While many in the California group reported their concerns to Facebook via the internet, the sites remained up until Los Angeles Councilman Joe Buscaino took a stance and called in Grossman's task force and other agencies to try and force their shut down.

Facebook removed San Pedro Rachets, Wilmington Rachets and San Pedro Hotties from their pages, agreeing with Grossman and many of its complaining users that cyberbullying had occurred which goes against Facebook policies. Rachets, according to the Urban Dictionary, are a "diva, mostly from urban cities and ghettos, that has reason to believe she is every man's eye candy. Unfortunately, she's wrong."

Buscaino, known for working closely with teens when he was an LAPD officer, said he considered the pages slanderous and abusive.

While no laws exist now regarding cyberbullying, Grossman said, there are other laws that might fit but didn't work in this case. Laws specifically against cyberbullying eventually might be implemented, she said, especially since the topic has riveted the nation after several youths committed suicide who became victims of internet attacks.

The Internet Crimes Against Children is a federally funded agency  that formed 61  national teams devoted to fight child exploitation via the internet and offers "reactive, proactive, and forensic investigations and criminal investigations," its site reports.

Since its formation in 1998, the task forces have dealt with 280,000 complaints of alleged sex abuse against children and led to 30,000 arrests, according to the national Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The beauty of these agencies, Grossman added, is that internet crime is "everywhere," and it's not something that the Los Angeles police can deal with alone. Agencies had to join together to be effective, she said.

The program offers training to agencies that might be involved including schools, Grossman said. In this instance the schools, Banning High and San Pedro High, would be responsible to carry out further investigation of who the perpetrators were that put up the sites.

Internet users who believe they have concerns of child exploitation on the internet can report it too www.missingkids.com or call  1-800-843-5678.

Views: 615

Comment

You need to be a member of San Pedro News Pilot to add comments!

Join San Pedro News Pilot

Comment by Valerie Smith-Griffin on December 24, 2012 at 9:36am
A re-post of my comment posted yesterday (Do not see it)

Not surprised in the least - the page was absolutely disgusting and degrading, no argument there - but to remove it would seem to be Internet censorship - and there my friends, is most likely, why it stays.

Call (323) 200-9052 to learn more or click here to send an email.

San Pedro Weather

San Pedro News Pilot by email - sign up!

Delivered by FeedBurner

What is the SanPedroNewsPilot.com?

The SanPedroNewsPilot.com is the social network and information outlet for San Pedro.

Want to keep up with the news in San Pedro, become a member.


 

Membership has its privileges!

• Got news you think everyone should know? Blog it.
• Have a show or attending a benefit? Put it on the calendar.
• Got video of the big game? Embed it.
• Photos of the new storefront or the school play? Upload them.

Latest Activity

Lisa's event was featured
Thumbnail

Pick of the Vine: Season 13 THIS YEAR’S BEST SHORT PLAYS at Little Fish Theatre

January 9, 2015 at 8pm to February 14, 2015 at 10pm
Jan 9 – Feb14, Fri & Sat @8pm Sun Jan 18*, 25 & Feb 1 @ 2pm; Thu, Feb 5 & 12@ 8pmThis extremely popular presentation of 10 freshly chosen short plays returns for its thirteenth season.Directors: Cylan Brown, Danielle Ozymandias, James Rice, and Margaret SchugtA veritable bounty of short plays offered up by authors from all over the world. What happens when you don’t throw a pinch of dropped salt over your shoulder? Or to the trash you throw out? Or when a prank phone call turns into…See More
6 hours ago
People's Place & Palace's event was featured
Thumbnail

People's Place presents an Elk's New Year's Eve at People's Yoga Health & Dance

December 31, 2014 at 9pm to January 1, 2015 at 1am
Come on out and party it out at People'sDecember 31, 2014 from 9PM to 1AM Admission is $40 per personandALL proceeds benefit the San Pedro Elks Lodge Rebuild Fund Tickets are available in studio and lodge only. Music will be provided by Down the HatchFood and Drinks are included! For more information you can contact: People's Place(310)547-2348peoplesyogahealthdance@gmail.com Sacha Bailey(310)831-0624…See More
6 hours ago
Heather Caine's event was featured
Thumbnail

Holiday Pops Spectacular at Warner Grand Theatre

December 20, 2014 from 8pm to 10pm
Golden State Pops Orchestra returns for their 11th season, opening with an annual favorite concert of seasonal musical works and the GSPO Chorale. A feast for the ears and eyes – for the whole family.Tickets: $22 - $60 at gspo.comSee More
6 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street's 3 blog posts were featured
6 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street shared their blog post on Facebook
16 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street promoted Jamaal Kellen Street's blog post Former SPHS Football Star Kenny Potter Signs With SJSU
16 hours ago

Sports Editor
Jamaal Kellen Street posted a blog post

Former SPHS Football Star Kenny Potter Signs With SJSU

It may have taken three hard years of junior college to get it done, but the call has finally been answered for former San Pedro High football star Kenny Potter.The three-sport standout in his four years at San Pedro was more than primed for a blossoming future in playing Division I football in the NCAA, but never got the…See More
16 hours ago
Harbor shelter posted a photo

christmas poster

Harbor Animal Shelter957 N Gaffey St.San Pedro Ca 90731Harbor Animal Shelter is doing a Christmas donation drive for our lovely residents here at the animal shelter! Please help out the animals this year and give a gift they will love! Have a Merry…
yesterday

© 2014   Created by San Pedro News Pilot.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service