BCP

Virtual Schooling During Pandemic Gives Predators Access to Children; Hach & Rose Sues Omegle

Posted on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2020 at 2:34 pm    

Keeping your children safe online has never been simple, especially in our modern age. But when the country was forced to go into quarantine during the Covid-19 pandemic, the internet suddenly became a much larger part of our lives. Perhaps normally your child may have been permitted to one hour of supervised computer time per day, but these rules cannot apply when your child’s internet usage has suddenly increased to a full day of classes. Predators cannot be allowed access to unsuspecting children. Unfortunately, many social networking sites are not taking enforceable precautions, which has led to irreparable damage.

Our client, an 11-year-old girl, was provided with a Chromebook from her school in order to attend classes virtually during the pandemic. She used the laptop to access Omegle, which she had never visited previously. Omegle is a video chatting service which randomly pairs up users for a conversation. First, she was paired with a group of adolescents. After ending that chat and beginning a new conversation, our client encountered a black screen. Text began to appear, alleging that the stranger knew our client’s location and threatening to hack the devices in our client’s home. The stranger told our client that she had to remove all of her clothing in front of the camera and follow their instructions.

The damage of this single video chat on Omegle is traumatizing and permanent. Our client was sexually abused and forced to create a pornographic video which could be distributed across the globe. The criminal investigation into this horrible crime has been stalled because Omegle does not track their users, which enables predators to continue abusing innocent victims. Omegle did not seek verifiable parental consent, which meant that our client had no idea what danger she was in. Omegle continues to provide a vehicle with which pedophiles can access unsuspecting victims every day.

If you or a loved one have been victimized by Omegle or another social networking site, please contact our firm now. These crimes could have easily been prevented, and these websites must be held accountable for putting minors in danger. Contact our team today at Hach & Rose, LLP for your free and confidential case review.

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