Bend Police step up efforts to end online luring of minors, make 5 arrests in past 3 months

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Police officers in Bend have been trained and are proactively investigating cases online where adults sexually lure minors through social media, resulting in the arrest of five adults in the past three months police officers said on Tuesday.

Several Bend officers have attended training on how to investigate sexual predators using social media, Lt. Juli McConkey said.

In the past three months, officers have arrested five adult suspects accused of luring a minor (a Class C felony) in Bend.

Oregon law states that luring a minor is a felony when a person sends explicit sexual photographs or explicit sexual messages to a minor for the purpose of sexual behavior. The law also allows a police officer to pose as a minor for the purpose of investigating such cases.

“Bend Police want our community to know that we are proactively investigating these cases,” McConkey said in a press release. “This awareness will also let potential predators know that our community is vigilant. Our goal is to prevent this activity from affecting our community.

“We would like to remind parents and caregivers to stay involved with their children’s digital world, know the apps they are using, and use parental controls when possible. Children should speak with a trusted adult so they understand the risks online, only chat with people they know, make sure their online accounts are private, and block people they don’t know. “

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Daniel Lange

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