Brownwood parents find racy photos of daughter sent on Facebook, police talk prevention

Parental vigilance urged with youth computer usage

BROWNWOOD, Texas - Parents of a 14-year-old Brownwood girl found racy pictures of their daughter that she had sent to a 21-year-old man on Facebook.

They contacted police, but police said the pictures were not explicit enough to actually charge the man with possession/promotion of child pornography.

Brownwood Assistant Police Chief James Fuller said more avenues exist online now than ever before for children and teens to find themselves in compromising situations.

Social networking sites are so popular, they're a finger swipe or click away.

Fuller said there are ways for parents to make sure their child isn't using these websites inappropriately.

"Control that computer, if you suspect something is wrong, if there is a problem, take that computer," said Fuller.

He said to leave the family computer in a common area of the house.

"There's no reason for a young teenager to have a laptop locked up in their bedroom able to do, search, and look for whatever they want," Fuller said.

When children are left to their own devices, Fuller said things can go very wrong.

"If the parent and the child is not talking to each other then sometimes law enforcement gets involved when it's too late," said Fuller.

He said know their password to websites like Facebook, and also, "I think there's nothing wrong with a parent being Facebook friends with their children."

The biggest threat? Fuller said is a child being approached by an adult on Facebook.

"The child needs to know to go to the parent, the parent needs to know who they need to contact; you know you can't actually just contact Facebook," said Fuller.

He said it's also a good idea to contact local law enforcement.

Fuller said if a minor sends explicit material to a minor, the minor who sent the material can be charged with transmitting visual material. If a minor sends explicit material to an adult, the adult can be charged with possession/promotion of child pornography, a third-class felony.

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