Stopping child pornography: an endless battle
GRUNDY COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- After federal, state and local authorities busted a Grundy County man for making child pornography, investigators now are in the process of tracking down his victims.
Forty-four-year-old Jimmy Rollins was arrested Thursday on eight federal counts of child pornography production. He is facing a minimum of 25 years in federal prison for each indictment.
We caught up with the detective over Hamilton County's Internet Crime Unit who says this is a much bigger problem than people realize. Investigators say it is one of the largest child porn production busts they have made in our region, after finding more than 300,000 photos and videos inside 44-year-old Jimmy Rollins' home in Palmer.
"This has been ongoing for the better part of 20 years," says Chief Dennis Young with the Winchester Police Department.
The Internet Crimes Against Children Unit with the Winchester Police Department says Rollins was sexually assaulting at least 15 young boys from Grundy and surrounding counties. Neighbors we spoke with off camera say they were always suspicious of Rollins, but had no idea what was really going on inside his home.
"It's a serious concern and it goes on all around us in our community and most people are just blind to the signs of it," says Detective Brian Ashburn with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Department.
Ashburn is assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. He says the national statistics on child abuse are staggering.
"One in four girls are sexually abused and one in six boys. That's a very high number. That's just reported, known cases," says Ashburn.
He says it is a top priority tracking down offenders who are making and distributing child porn. "The biggest fear I think for law enforcement is that, someone who is looking at that kind of stuff, are they going to act on their desires?"
Which was the case with Rollins. Investigators on his case will be the first to say it's an endless battle.
"There's several more like him. That's all I can tell you. We don't have the resources to work at the level we need to be working at. I could keep a whole room full of detectives constantly busy," says Chief Young.
Rollins is also facing a statutory rape charge in state court from a separate investigation.
Detective Ashburn says there are resources out there for parents who want to be proactive. He says the Hamilton County Children's Advocacy Center offers free training classes for adults on learning the signs of sexual abuse.