UDPATE: Suspected Child Molester Identified Through Tips From PublicOctober 9, 2012, 11:20 AM HST (Updated October 10, 2012, 8:57 AM)
A spokesman for the Honolulu office of the FBI today said agents using tips from the public have identified a man suspected of child sexual exploitation who may have been on the Big Island in recent years.
“At this moment, no arrests have been no charges filed or arrests made,” said Honolulu Special Agent Tom Simon. “If our investigation culminates in criminal charges, we will make an announcement at that time.
“Thank you to our local press and to the people of Hawaii for spreading the word and assisting us in this matter, Simon said, adding that the public is reminded that the individual from yesterday’s release is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
According to a statement issued Tuesday by the FBI, a series of photographs surfaced in 2010 on the internet depicting the suspect apparently engaging in graphic sexual acts with a girl and a boy estimated to be 4 years old and 9 years old, respectively.
The photos, which were circulated widely among various illegal child-pornography sharing sites, included an image in the background that when enhanced appears to be a 2008 Hawaiian Telcom phone book for the Big Island.
A desktop computer in the background of another photo leads investigators to believe the photo was likely not taken in a hotel room, the FBI said.
“We’re comfortable saying that the suspect was probably on Hawaii’s Big Island between 2008 and 2010,” said Honolulu Special Agent Tom Simon. “He may have lived there, or he may have been a guest in someone’s home. For all we know, he may still be living in Hawaii.”
There were no other details linking the suspect to Hawaii, the agency said.
“The graphic pictures of the suspect performing sex acts on two young children are an absolute nightmare,” Simon said. “The fact that he’s still out there makes it even worse.
“Sadly, the FBI catches a lot of consumers and distributors of child pornography. This case is a rare opportunity for us to catch an actual producer of these disturbing images,” he said. “We are encouraging people to harness the power of social media to get the word out, so we can get this guy off the streets.”