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In the photograph, the model is shown rising out of a bubble bath, suds dripping from her body. Her tight panties and skimpy top are soaked and revealing. She gazes at the viewer, her face showing a wisp of a smile that seems to have been coaxed from off-camera. In just over seven months, the model has become an online phenomenon.
According to the posted schedule, new photographs of her — many clearly intended to be erotic, all supposedly taken that week — are posted online every Friday for her growing legions of admirers. Sparkle is one of hundreds of children being photographed by adults, part of what appears to be the latest trend in online child exploitation: Web sites for pedophiles offering explicit, sexualized images of children who are covered by bits of clothing — all in the questionable hope of allowing producers, distributors and customers to avoid child pornography charges.
In recent months, an array of investigations of the child pornography business — by the Justice Department, state and local law enforcement and Congress — have contributed to wholesale shutdowns of some of the most sexually explicit Internet sites trafficking in child images. But they have been rapidly replaced by a growing of these so-called model sites, Internet locations that offer scores of original photographs of scantily clad under-age children like Sparkle, often posed in ways requested by subscribers. More than of the sites have been found by The New York Times through online advertising aimed at pedophiles, and a vast majority focus mostly on one.
Almost all the children appear to be between the ages of 2 and Based on descriptions in online customer forums and in Web s showing image samples, the children are photographed by people who have frequent access to them. The sites say the children come from different parts of the world, including the United States. Based on the images and wording from online advertisements, the sites show toddlers wearing tight thongs, and slightly older children posing evocatively while wearing makeup and feather boas.
There is even a site that offers images of girls and boys who appear to be 5 or 6 years old, wearing just diapers. In online conversations observed by The Times over four months, pedophiles portrayed model sites as the last of a shrinking of Internet locations for sexual images of minors. There is much less freedom on the Internet now.
We still have a rebellion made up of nonnude child modeling sites. But are they going to suffer the same fate as their predecessors? Insight to the Ramsey Case. The secretive world of child exploitation is in the spotlight because of an arrest last week in the murder of JonBenet Ramsey, a 6-year-old beauty ant princess.
The suspect was a fugitive from charges of possessing child pornography and had exhibited a fascination with the sexual abuse of children. While many of the recently created sites are veering into new territory, the concept of for-pay modeling sites using children has been around for years.
Sites with names like lilamber. Their existence set off a fury of criticism in Congress about possible child exploitation, but proposed legislation about such sites never passed. The sites that have emerged in recent months, however, are markedly different.
Some modeling sites have already attracted the attention of law enforcement. Earlier this year, prosecutors obtained a guilty plea on child pornography charges from Sheila L. Sellinger, then of Shoals, Ind. Last month, Ms. Sellinger was sentenced to almost 12 years in prison. Sellinger, who earned thousands of dollars a week from the pornographic yet clothed images of her daughter, cooperated with law enforcement, leading to the arrest of two men who had been assisting her with her site and had been running several more, court records show.
The portals promote the busiest sites, ranking them by the of hits they receive. Such a marketing approach proved effective for some online child pornography businesses that have disappeared over the last year, including those that offered illicit videos of children generated by Webcams. The Times did not subscribe to any sites, which it first saw referenced in online conversations among pedophiles. The Times followed a link posted in those conversations Nn sexy models forum postings and images on freely accessible s of the modeling sites. Because those sites appeared to be illegal, The Times was required by law to report what it had found to authorities.
Federal law enforcement officials were notified in July about the sites. In contrast to their advertising, many of the sites portray themselves on their main s as regular modeling agencies trying to find work for their talent. But executives in the legitimate modeling business said that virtually everything about the sites runs contrary to industry practice. Most child images for genuine agencies are password-protected, the Nn sexy models said, with access granted to companies and casting agents only after a check of their backgrounds.
These executives said that real modeling agencies would refuse to use the types of sexualized images of children sought by pedophiles, not only because they are exploitative and illegal, but also because they would be bad business. Such images on an agency Web site would drive away many parents who might be seeking representation for their child, executives said; indeed, most photographs of child models are nothing more than head shots.
And the legitimate agents provide the phone s, addresses and names of their executives so potential clients can contact them; most of the sites aimed at pedophiles not only provide little or no means of contact, but even hide the identities of the owners behind anonymous site registrations. Despite repeated statements on the sites that they are lawful, they may well run afoul of American law. While the issues Nn sexy models far from settled — thus leading to the attempts by Congress to clarify the law — courts have worked over the last two decades to define standards for what constitutes potentially illegal images of children.
As a result, courts have ruled that images of naked children were not automatically pornographic, and thus not illegal, while also holding that the mere presence of clothing on a photographed child was not, in itself, adequate to declare the image lawful. Instead, the courts often apply a six-pronged test, developed in a case called United States v.
However, no single standard under Dost is absolute, and courts must continuously examine potentially illegal images while considering each Nn sexy models of the test. The leading precedent on child pornography involving clothed minors is a federal case known as United States v.
Knox, which involved a pedophile who obtained Nn sexy models videos of girls. In that case, the Federal Court of Appeals upheld the conviction Nn sexy models the pedophile, Stephen Knox, saying explicitly that clothing alone did not automatically mean that images of children were legal. While adult pornography has some First Amendment protections, there are no such protections for child pornography.
Still, some experts have expressed discomfort, in general, at criminalizing clothed pictures of minors. But there is in my view a free speech issue with respect to deating photographs of persons under the age of 18 who are clothed as child pornography. But Mr. Bamberger expressed uncertainty about whether his concerns applied when told details of the model sites found by The Times. The modeling sites reviewed by The Times incorporated many such references to encourage viewers to subscribe. That is true for one of the most successful collections of sites, according to some portal rankings, run by an entity called PlayToy Entertainment.
On its central site, PlayToy holds itself out as a company that helps children start modeling careers. There is, however, no phoneaddress or prominent e-mail address available for companies that might seek to hire the girls or for parents who might want their children to be models. The central PlayToy site originally located by The Times contained links to as many as six sites featuring little girls. Those sites still exist, however, including the one for the girl called Sparkle.
Another site features a prepubescent girl named Lolly — a widely used online code word for pornographic images of girls. There are even sexualized images of a girl called Baby, who appears younger than 5 and whose photographs seem to go back as far as her second birthday or earlier, when she was still in diapers.
Other PlayToy sites are more explicit. The site includes a picture of the young girl wearing a tank top pulled off one shoulder. But experts said that assurance was almost certainly not true. Based on the ages of the children, the marketing words and customer comments on the PlayToy sites described to him by The Times, a lead lawyer in the Knox case said that the subscribers had plenty of reason to worry. The assurance by the company that the sites are lawful is irrelevant to any potential prosecution, experts said. For example, when Ms. Sellinger was arrested this year for selling photos of her daughter, PlayToy members — and even the site operator — posted messages of dismay, referring to both mother and daughter by name.
They also composed a photographic homage to the girl in the forum discussion, using images from the site that had been deemed illegal. But in that short time, the records show, 6, people have subscribed to view the images of the girls. The cash has been collected either by credit card — processed through a company called Advanced Internet Billing Services, or through Western Union payments — as well as through an online money system called e-gold. A Tortuous Digital Trail.
Attempts to learn the identities of the people behind PlayToy suggested many possible locations. Payments through Western Union were processed through Ukraine. An administrative e-mail address suggested the company was based in Russia. Using a commercial software program, The Times traced messages sent by the PlayToy sites back to servers in Germany and obtained what is known as the Internet protocol address of that online host.
The Times then obtained business records about the site prepared by someone involved in its operation. If true, the records show the name, address, telephone and other personal information of a man in Florida who is involved in running the site.
An e-mail address listed in the records was traced to postings that appeared in pedophile conversation sites, including comments praising child pornography and images of young girls in thongs.
Because of the possibility of identity theft, The Times has elected not to publish the name of that man or of associates who also appear to be involved in the business. The Florida man did not return a voice mail message left on his cellphone or respond to an e-mail message. Still, even if the operators of PlayToy are positively identified and compelled to shut their sites, the growing business of model sites would probably continue to thrive.
There, on each of those hundreds of competing sites, the subscribers will find at least one other little girl who, every few days or so, is dressed in panties or thongs, placed in a bathtub or posed on a bed, while a nearby adult snaps pictures for the delight of a paying audience of thousands.
She is — at most — 9 years old.Nn sexy models
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