Child porn arrest raises new alert for online users

TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Federal child porn charges filed against a Toledo man have revealed a new App that parents need to be aware of.

That suspect is William Collins. He's facing federal charges of possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor. The feds tracked him down by watching what he was doing online.

Federal agents based out of Salt Lake City, Utah allegedly tracked online child pornography back to Toledo to a home on Beaumont Drive off Manhattan Boulevard. It’s the home of William Collins.

He's accused of using the app, Liveme to distribute child pornography. This allows people to stream themselves live, doing whatever they want. Anonymous audience members can make requests or offer instructions to that person.

In this case federal investigators say Collins was on the app and part of multiple pornography groups where thousands of sexual images involving kids were distributed. He also allegedly posted pictures while using the app.

He's even accused of creating pornographic images with a young person he was acquainted with.

"There are all kinds of different things that our cyber agents have to do in order to track down cyber crimes because the anonymity is there and when you have apps like live me where anyone can post anything at any time. It's scary," said FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson.

Agents say they connected Collins to these crimes in part because in the video you can see an identifying tattoo. A big break for investigators.

Parents remember this any child using this app, probably has no idea who is watching them and no idea what they may say or ask.

So now might be a good time for every parent to check their child's devices

"Parents need to know the internet is not a babysitter. You have to be aware of what your children are doing online because you've opened the whole world to your child by handing them access to the internet," said Anderson.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost addressed cyber concerns for parents:

“The bad guys mostly aren’t hiding in the bushes or dark alleys — they’re hiding in your kid’s phone. Just this week in Cleveland, we arrested 28 men who thought they’d found a fourteen-year-old for sex online and traveled to meet them. The communication was mostly by text. Vigilance is your only real ally.”