Sharing or opening viral video can land you in jail
A local detective, who has investigated internet sex crimes against children, explains if the image or video is shared, opened, or downloaded to the point where it can be viewed on your computer, then there is a digital footprint even after it's been deleted.
Three people are charged after a video of a child being sexually abused was spread across the world on social media. Sharing or even clicking on the video could get you in trouble with law enforcement.
Germaine Moore, who police say is in the video, turned himself in Tuesday morning. He's facing 11 felony charges including sexual assault of a child.
His fiance, Tonya Moore, is charged with interfering with prosecution and Jerrell Washington is charged with distributing child pornography after he allegedly shared the video on social media.
Channel 3 spoke to an internet sex crimes investigator who says this case is far from over.
"Hopefully it's the end for the guy who created it and his associates," Detective David Scroggins says. "Unfortunately, it's just the beginning for the victim because those images will be there forever."
"There will be child pornography cases for years to come based on these images that have been posted in the last two weeks," adds Detective Scroggins.
For seven years, Rossville Police Detective David Scroggins worked on a federal task force that investigated internet sex crimes against children.
"In the time that we ran the task force we arrested a mayor, a police officer, a teacher, a lawyer, a preacher, every type of guy that you can think of," says Detective Scroggins.
He says sexual images or videos of a child online never go away. In this case, a video of a young girl performing oral sex on an adult went viral in a matter of days.
"Unfortunately, sometimes the more graphic the image is the more rapidly they spread," Detective Scroggins says. "You should never open anything, if you don't know where it is or where it's coming from."
Scroggins explains if the image or video is shared, opened, or downloaded to the point where it can be viewed on your computer, then there is a digital footprint even after it's been deleted.
"Nothing's every really deleted from your computer," Detective Scroggins says. "Look at all the political emails that are out there now; you may think they're gone, you can't see them anymore but I can get them back."
Law enforcement works together across the world to identify who is sharing and viewing child porn. Investigators often use a database to identify images connected to real victims.
A case that originated in New Zealand, still keeps Detective Scroggins busy today.
"It originated 15 years ago and ended 10 years ago and I get subpoenas every month to go testify to say this child was a real child," says Detective Scroggins.
We do know the child in this case has been found and is safe.
If you get the video in your inbox, don't open, view, or save it.
Detective Scroggins says you should contact law enforcement right away and delete it.