HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today hosted legislative leaders from each of the four chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to unveil the Office of Attorney General?s state-of-the-art Child Predator Section command center and educate the public about increased efforts to combat child sexual abuse in the Commonwealth.
A generous allocation of $4.3 million for the 2013-14 state budget approved by leaders on both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives and Senate has allowed Attorney General Kane to elevate the Child Predator Section as a stand-alone group of experienced investigators and prosecutors.
Taking seriously her responsibility of being a steward of taxpayer dollars, Attorney General Kane immediately put that appropriation, a $3 million increase over the previous year, to work for Pennsylvanians by:
During her 12-year tenure as an Assistant District Attorney, Attorney General Kane personally prosecuted numerous child sexual abuse cases, witnessing firsthand the devastation child sexual abuse has on its victims and their families.
"As a taxpayer, prosecutor and mother, I do not believe there is any better investment we can make than supporting the efforts of law enforcement to rid our communities of the scourge of child predators," Attorney General Kane said. "This is money well spent and the Child Predator Section is fast becoming a national leader in the prevention and prosecution of child sexual abuse and exploitation."
Attorney General Kane noted that while her office is proud of the fact that 105 child predators have been arrested so far this year - only 19 arrests were made in
2012 - there is still much work to do.
"We have identified more than 2,800 child predators operating within the borders of our Commonwealth," she said. "For our agents and prosecutors, myself included, there can never be enough arrests, prosecutions and educational efforts."
She said the work is difficult but it is rewarding: Children have been rescued from sexual abuse, repeat offenders have been arrested and sexual predators looking to lure or exploit children have been put behind bars.
"There aren't enough hours in the day for our agents to chat with predators, or to track the multitude of filthy child pornography files through which predators exploit children," said Attorney General Kane.
"But with the continued support of the General Assembly, I can ensure that the Child Predator section stays one step ahead of child predators for the safety of our communities and most importantly, the protection of our children," she said.
Attorney General Kane remains active in her local Children's Advocacy Center, a member of the Pennsylvania Chapter of Children's Advocacy Centers and Multidisciplinary Teams, where victims are treated for the emotional and physical damage done to them at the hands of their abusers.
"Much like the diversity of the victims it claims, child sexual abuse has many forms. The emotional and physical toll it takes on its victims would take a lifetime to repair - and that's assuming each victim gets the care he or she needs," she said.
Attorney General Kane urged the audience at today's program to be vigilant in working to connect victims with the resources they need to heal.
"For the victims of sexual abuse, there can never be enough care. It is our job to protect, prevent and prosecute," she said.
Reporting Internet Predators
Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Attorney General's Child Predator Section using the online complaint form at www.attorneygeneral.gov  or by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044.
(To read the original press release, visit the website of the Pennsylvania Attorney General )