Nine men have been arrested in Washington following an undercover predator sting by Oregon authorities.
In a statement, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said investigators had launched the operation on Oct. 17.
Officers posed as 15-year-old boys and girls on a number of social media platforms and dating sites, and were contacted by the predators who arranged to meet for sex.
The predators were arrested by undercover deputies at a location where they believed they would be meeting the child in person.
The statement said that nine different men were caught in the sting.
They were identified as Joseph Kenneth Raney, 30, of Portland; Brandon Daily Perkins, 36, of McMinnville; Brent Wayne Pruitt, 41, of Portland; Maverick William Pfel, 39, of Beaverton; Christopher Michael Mckane, 40, of Beaverton; Jonathan Arthur Hauck, 48, of Newberg; Tou Moua, 37, of Happy Valley; Wayne Michael Redman, 29, of Portland; and Gaspar Gaona-Aguilar, 48, of Beaverton.
Gaona-Aguilar was also arrested for criminal driving while suspended and a probation violation related to his registered sex offender status, according to the statement.
Jonathan Arthur Hauck also had an outstanding probation violation warrant, it said.
All of the named men now face felony charges of luring a minor and first-degree online sexual corruption of a child.
Authorities said they regularly conduct undercover operations targeting child predators.
They encouraged parents to help their children to remain safe online by staying aware of any websites and mobile applications their children are using.
The statement said that during the sting, multiple people immediately ended their conversations once they learned the person they were talking with was identifying as a child.
Child Sexual Abuse
According to RAACE, 1 in 3 girls and one in seven boys are sexually abused by age 18, however, only 1 in 10 children who are sexually abused will ever tell anyone.
The report states that an estimated 80 to 90 percent of offenders are male, while 10 to 20 percent of offenders are female.
It adds that about 40 percent of offenders of children under 12 are children or adolescents themselves, and 90 percent of offenders are someone the child knows and trusts.
“Grooming increases the predator’s access to his victim and decreases the likelihood of discovery,” the report explains.
Meanwhile, the Children’s Assessment Center states that pedophiles look for certain characteristics in potential victims, which include children who are passive, quiet, troubled, and lonely.
It said: “Family structure is the most important risk factor in child sexual abuse. Children who live with two married biological parents are at low risk for abuse.
“The risk increases when children live with step-parents or a single parent. Children living without either parent (foster children) are 10 times more likely to be sexually abused than children that live with both biological parents.
The report added: “Children who live with a single parent that has a live-in partner are at the highest risk: They are 20 times more likely to be victims of child sexual abuse than children living with both biological parents.”