56 Pedophiles Arrested during Major Child Sex Abuse Raids in Florida
'Operation Bad Apple' takes down child sexual predators in huge bust
Authorities in Florida have arrested 56 pedophiles in a major child sex abuse bust, according to reports.
Florida’s Osceola County Sheriff’s Office announced that numerous arrests were made during an operation led by United States Marshals focusing on child sexual predators.
“Operation Bad Apple” was performed and was executed from March 28 until Friday, WESH reported.
“The operation had a primary focus, but not limited to; sexual offenders and sexual predators who have prior state or federal convictions for production, transmission, and/or possession of child pornography/sexual performance of a child; transmission of harmful material to a minor; or video voyeurism,” the sheriff’s office said in its press release.
Authorities also included mugshots of the suspects.
The operation yielded “56 arrests of sexual offenders and predators in reference to violations of their statutory sex offense restrictions and or new law violations,” the release noted.
"All arrestees were booked and transported to the Osceola County Jail," the release added.
The Justice Department’s website describes child pornography as a type of child sexual exploitation.
"Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than 18 years old)," it states.
"Images of child pornography are also referred to as child sexual abuse images.”
The expansion of the Internet and advanced digital technology lies parallel to the explosion of the child pornography market.
Child pornography images are readily available through virtually every Internet technology, including social networking websites, file-sharing sites, photo-sharing sites, gaming devices, and even mobile apps.
Child pornography offenders can also connect on Internet forums and networks to share their interests, desires, and experiences abusing children, in addition to selling, sharing, and trading images.
The agency also said images of child porn are not protected under the First Amendment and are deemed illegal contraband.
In May, a professor from Saint Leo University in Florida was arrested on child porn charges, according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times.
“Professor Steven Kistulentz has been charged with two counts of Intentional Viewing of Child Pornography, and ten counts of Possession of Child Pornography, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement,” the outlet detailed.
The professor’s biography on the university’s website has since been taken down, the report added.
Kistulentz has been placed on administrative leave, and his access to the campus has been suspended.