Bunny Toy Helps Agents Crack Vast Porn Ring
'Family Matters' episode, water bottle also provide crucial information
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2012 4:49 PM CDT
Robert Mikelsons, who was sentenced in Amsterdam on May 21, 2012, to 18 years in prison for abusing dozens of babies and toddlers.   (AP Photo/Netherlands police via U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement)

(Newser) – A toy bunny, a water bottle, and an episode of Family Matters all helped investigators unravel a child pornography ring that ran around the world. Investigators noticed the bunny in a photo of a half-naked 18-month-old boy that one molester thought he was sending to another—but actually emailed to a federal agent in Boston. Dutch police recognized the bunny, and when the photo aired on Dutch TV, the child was identified and his baby sitter quickly arrested, the AP reports.

Similarly, the water bottle was in a photo and the Family Matters episode on a video owned by suspected molesters. Painstaking research has led to nearly 200 arrests and the identification of 140 victims—but more will follow as investigators plow through suspects' hard drives. Two American men are even suspected of cannibalism after chatting online about eating a child for Easter. Federal agents are pursuing leads "to make sure these individuals didn't follow through on any of their claims," said a federal spokesman.
 

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