ZANESVILLE, OH- Muskingum County Prosecutor Ron Welch says there are certain aspects of child sexual abuse that aren’t understood by many individuals.
Recently Welch was invited to take part in a panel discussion hosted by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. Conversations focused on educating professionals within the legal system as well as the public on various issues regarding child sexual abuse materials.
“The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children likes to put forth that it is something that impacts children of all cultures, all races, all socioeconomic backgrounds, therefore it impacts every community. The goal is to make certain that every community is aware that this happens where they are and that it’s not just a problem that happens in big cities or other countries, but it’s happening everywhere, including here locally. “
One of the topics included misconception that child sexual abuse materials aren’t just images, Prosecutor Welch says images are graphic evidence of a child being harmed or violated. He says that they prosecute cases in Muskingum County regularly, involving the downloading and receiving of images from the internet.
“We have individuals here who are sexually abusing children and placing those images on the internet or engaging and trading with other individuals to establish a network that allows for other pedophiles to take part in the abuse of these children by watching it occur. The National Center for Missing Exploited Children in 2021 alone, reviewed twenty-nine million images for child sexually exploited or child sexual abuse materials or child access exploitation, that equates to approximately one image of every second of every day.”
The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office says they remain committed to aggressively prosecuting case’s involving videos and images of children being sexually abused.