June 3, 2014 4:39 pm

‘It’s right next to you happening’ says mother of child porn victim

CALGARY- Five minutes. That’s all it took for a young Alberta girl to be victimized by a child predator.

The girl’s mother, who Global News is identifying as Nicole, remembers the moment she found out.

“I was sitting around watching TV, and around 8 at night I received a phone call from a man claiming to be an officer from Nebraska, saying my daughter was the victim of an internet predator.”

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Nicole’s daughter had been targeted by Darrin Mucker, who posed as a 15-year-old boy, and started chatting with her on the messaging app called Kik.

“He told her everything she wanted to hear, and convinced her to actually send a picture,” Nicole says, adding it was unbelievable how quickly it unfolded.

“When my daughter sent the pictures, she was sitting beside me on the couch. She went upstairs for five minutes to the bathroom then came back down, and I had no clue—it happened so fast.

“They don’t have to be sitting alone for hours, it’s right next to you happening.”

It got worse, after the man demanded more photos.

“She said no, she wasn’t going to do it again, and that’s when it flipped from being nice, saying everything she wanted to hear, to ‘if you don’t send me more I’m going to send this to everyone on your Facebook, I’m going to expose you.”

Investigators in the U.S. already had their eyes on Mucker, and raided his home. As a result of what they found, they determined Nicole’s daughter was one of his victims.

“Our job is to examine the computer devices that come into the office, and extract the data, find evidence associated to the allegations we investigate,” explains Al Lafontaine, manager of the forensic tech department. “I don’t think anyone ever thinks they are going to get caught, I think we surprise pretty much every one of our customers when we do this search.”

Investigators sift through every folder and app on computers, phones and tablets they seize, searching for illegal videos, photos and chats. However, it can be hard to keep up with technology.

“It’s really killing us, especially with the younger population on social media,” Lafontaine says. “They’re always changing. What was popular three years ago is no longer popular now.”

READ MORE: Child porn threats evolve, as victims get younger and younger

Experts warn that sex offenders are master manipulators.

“If I had a teenager I would want to be cognizant of who their friends are online,” says S/Sgt. John Guigon. “I would actually want to know who these people are.”

Nicole maintains it’s not always easy, no matter how involved parents are.

“I checked what I knew I had to check, which was Facebook, her phone, her texts, and all this actually occurred on her iPod.

“It was these sites—I wasn’t aware of the danger.”

Mucker has been sentenced to 18 years in prison.

 

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