The numbers are staggering and unfathomably sad.
They relate to outcomes relevant to children across the world achieved through the efforts of global investigatory task forces aimed at identifying and arresting child predators.
Here’s one such number: The international initiative termed Operation Predator that was commenced in 2003 has reportedly resulted in more than 16,000 arrests of pedophiles and child molesters to date. Those individuals have been convicted and sentenced to prison terms on charges ranging from child pornography production and distribution to child sex trafficking.
And here’s a tandem statistic: In one recent year alone, the United States Homeland Security Investigations unit allied with Operation Predator arrested more than 2,600 offenders.
Such information is simultaneously laudatory and profoundly depressing.
On the one hand, it signifies that sustained and well-coordinated criminal probes are having a salutary effect on spotlighting child sexual abusers and removing them from society.
On the other hand, though, the predator initiative is but a single effort challenged by a large and dangerous demographic that is both secretive and cunning. As impressive as the above-cited arrest numbers are, legions of abusers unquestionably remain at large and active in their pursuit of young victims.
Every success is worth noting, though, and at least temporarily basked in as a win for children. And that certainly includes news reports concerning the recent sentencing of a California resident on multiple abuse-related charges against juveniles from Thailand. That individual reportedly engaged in sexual acts with multiple young boys for a period spanning more than two decades.
The defendant, now 71 years of age, received a 10-year prison term in a federal facility, to be followed by 20 years of close official supervision thereafter. He was additionally ordered to pay restitution to two victims.