A man from Woodruff, Wisconsin is facing numerous felony charges on suspicion of committing crimes against children online. The Oneida County Sheriff’s Department issued a press release stating that Alexander Beda, 26, was arrested on November 20 and faces 10 counts of possession of child pornography.
Beda’s arrest came after an online investigation returned evidence of illegal activity from Beda’s IP address. Captain Terri Hook, of the Oneida County Sheriff’s Department, stated that the initial 10 charges of possession of child pornography could be expanded pending an ongoing investigation into Beda’s electronics and belongings.
Captain Hook has asked that anyone with potential information on Beda’s case call the Oneida Sheriff’s Office at 715-361-5150.
Authorities across the country have noted that 2020 has seen a spike in internet crimes against children. Task forces dedicated to busting internet predators have seen a marked increase in incidents of abuse, which they say is likely due to the pandemic keeping so many people home. There is speculation among experts that this is due, in large part, to many would-be predators normally being too busy with work and daily life to engage in their criminal behavior.
Likewise, being home to work on the computer all day could lead to a combination of boredom and a feeling of being unwatched. This could embolden would-be criminals who would normally not engage in such activity. Investigators have also suggested that, since children are also at home for longer and spending more time behind computer screens during the lockdowns, it’s likely that predators have more opportunities to ensnare children in online schemes.
It’s important that children remember internet safety guidelines when they’re online. Make sure you supervise your kid’s online activity! Vet the sites they’re visiting and make sure the friends they’re talking to are their pals from school, not strangers they met on the internet. It’s critical that your kids know how important it is to never share their full name, phone number, or address with strangers online.
While we’d like to be able to supervise all of our kids’ activities online, this isn’t always feasible. Consider setting up parental controls to make it harder for your kids to navigate to potentially dangerous sites. Meanwhile, make sure they understand how important it is to stay safe when they’re using the computer. They never know who they could be actually talking to on the other side.