Law enforcement officials learn that the Internet is 'not just a world of make-believe.'
By KATIE-NELL SCANLON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- A 14-year-old girl from Orlando, Fla., meets a 35-year-old man from Greece who convinces her that he's the love of her life. She agrees to stay home from school pretending she's sick, so she can arrange a meeting with her newfound friend.
A woman picks the girl up at her home, drives her to the airport and puts her on a plane to Cleveland, where she boards a flight to Greece. Five months later, the girl is found beaten and assaulted.
Kimberly Resnick Anderson, a psychiatric social worker practicing in Liberty, shared this scenario and many others during a "Psychiatric Aspects of Sexual Crime" program Monday at Youngstown State University.
Resnick Anderson examined the motives and profiles of sex offenders, child molesters and cyberstalkers, offering tips for officials and parents.
About 725,000 children have been aggressively solicited for sex online. Presenting video clips and cases of offenders, Resnick Anderson vividly examined the mental aspect of sexual crimes and how children can be protected.
"Those arrested are only a percentage of those committing crimes," Resnick Anderson said, adding, "Appreciating the motivations behind sexual behavior is important in assessing who is likely to repeat such crimes or escalate to more severe criminal activity."
Understanding criminal behavior
Also speaking at the workshop was Resnick Anderson's father, Dr. Phillip J. Resnick, director of the division of forensic psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law.
"In some cases, offenders escalated from more benign behavior," Resnick said during a segment Monday regarding rape and violence. "You can't depend on the fact that individuals will stay in character and not progress."
The detailed cases presented by Resnick showed that officials can benefit from a better understanding of criminal behaviors and sexual deviance.
Liberty Township Police Chief Tony Slifka was a member of the law-enforcement community present for the four-part seminar. Slifka said the message is about "expanding horizons."
Monday's program will benefit the community through the means with which offenders will be dealt, he said.
"So many crimes are associated with sexual deviance," Slifka said. "It's important for us to use the most effective interviewing techniques on offenders."
Resnick presented several video clips of patients describing their crimes in detail, exhibiting information not otherwise available to officials. The better police understand those who commit sexual crimes, "the more effective they can be in policing the community," Resnick said.
Michael Sullivan, assistant prosecutor in Cuyahoga County and director of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force was a final, unannounced speaker.