RESPECTED CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST CAUGHT IN KIDDIE PORN DRAGNET
Federal agents and police officers arrested a well-respected New York child psychologist for possession of violent child pornography. The arrest is part of an international, multi-agency child porno investigation that has netted over 1,200 arrests worldwide, according to officers with the Suffolk County, NY Police Department.
Peter Mies, 57, is a child psychologist who worked at the Building Blocks a preschool in Commack, New York, a suburb of New York City. He sees private child patients at his Hicksville, New York office, as well. Mies surrendered to Suffolk County detectives and agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a the local police stationhouse. He was charged with one count of Possessing a Sexual Performance by a Child, a Class E felony. Mies is only the latest of many respected members of his community to be arrested in child pornography cases.
Others arrested include an elementary school teacher, priests, school principals, school coaches, school janitors, camp counselors, campus ministers, pediatricians, circus clowns, Boy Scout leaders, police officers, firefighters, and many others with access to children. Some of these suspects also have been involved in the production and distribution of child pornography.
Mies is the latest individual to be arrested as part of a massive, ICE child pornography investigation targeting an internet billing company based in Minsk, Belarus and its affiliated entities in the United States.
To date, the investigation has resulted in the arrest of more than 1,200 people. In January 2004, the Belarus firm was charged with money laundering as well as providing credit card billing services for 50 child pornography websites worldwide and operating child porn websites of its own. Three bigwigs of the company were arrested in Europe and were extradited to the United States. All three of those extradited pleaded guilty in Newark, N.J., as have four officers of two affiliated companies in Florida and California.
Having dismantled the leadership of the enterprise, ICE agents in domestic offices and 52 AttachÃ© offices worldwide turned their focus to those who purchased child porn subscriptions from these sites in the U.S. and abroad. ICE has arrested more than 237 in the United States and foreign law enforcement, acting on ICE leads, have arrested more than 1,000 individuals in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Japan, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Besides being arrested and subsequently confessing to the crime, Mies forfeited his license to practice psychology and cannot reapply for his license until after he serves 10 years' probation. According to New York State law he also must register as a sex offender.
In addition, a Burnsville, Minnesota man made an initial appearance in federal court after being criminally charged for allegedly using prepubescent girls to produce child pornography in his basement.
ICE special agents and Burnsville Police officers arrested Bruce W. Betcher, 51. He was later charged by the U.S. Attorney's office for the District of Minnesota with using a minor to produce sexually explicit images and then distributing them. The local investigation was triggered when ICE special agents in Atlanta executed a federal search warrant at a residence in August, during which a computer was seized.
More than 2,000 images of child pornography were found on the computer's hard drive. These images were forwarded to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for forensic analysis. Analysis of the images led investigators to believe that some of them — which showed prepubbescent girls engaged in explicit sex acts — were taken in the basemeent of a Twin Cities area home, according to court documents. The investigation led ICE agents, the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children task force, and the Burnsville Police Department to Betcher's residence.
During the execution of a search warrant by the Burnsville Police Department, officers seized three computers, a digital camera and storage media, and a printed page bearing images of child pornography. ICE Bloomington special agents and Burnsville Police identified six local girls in the photographs. During an interview with law enforcement officials, one of the girls named and identified Bruce Betcher as the photographer.
© 2005 Jim Kouri- All
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Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores.
Others arrested include an elementary school teacher, priests, school principals, school coaches, school janitors, camp counselors, campus ministers, pediatricians, circus clowns, Boy Scout leaders, police officers, firefighters, and many others with access to children.