Janesville police share internet safety tips for parents
JANESVILLE, Wis. — Nowadays, information is only a click away, and sometimes that can be dangerous for children and teenagers.
“Their intent might not be to go out and find strangers to talk to, but these predators will find them,” Janesville police Lt. Terry Sheridan said.
The Janesville Police Department recently shared a link to the Wisconsin Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force’s podcast on dating apps . The content has become even more important as police help Albany police investigate a Janesville man accused of meeting a 14-year-old online and having a sexual relationship with the child for more than a year.
“The internet is definitely, I guess, a favorite tool of sexual predators,” Sheridan said. “It’s full of sexual predators.”
Brandon Moon, 25, appeared in court via video from the Rock County Jail Thursday afternoon. He’s facing a repeated sexual assault of a child charge
Police said Moon and the underage victim met through the online dating service “Plenty of Fish.” Their relationship continued until March, even after the victim’s father found Moon hiding in a closet inside the victim’s home in July 2016.
“He (the father) kicked the guy out. He believed it was over at that time. He was told by the victim that the relationship was over, but it was actually continuing without his knowledge,” Sheridan said.
Police said it’s important for parents to keep an eye on what their children look at online.
“They give them smartphones or tablets or anything that can access the internet. They need to be checking to see where they’re going and not just assuming that they’re only going to be using it for just chatting with their friends or something,” Sheridan said.
He said the same “stranger danger” rules apply on the internet as well.
“It feels maybe safer because it’s not in person, but it can certainly lead to bad things happening if we’re not paying attention,” Sheridan said.
In addition to the ICAC Task Force’s podcasts and safety information , the Janesville Police Department also recommends parents check out the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s internet safety tips .
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