Multiple police departments and the FBI are investigating an apparent disturbing, pornographic video involving a minor that is being shared and forwarded extensively on Facebook, according to media reports this week from around the country. The video shows the sexual assault of a child and it is being spread across the United States and internationally.
Federal authorities have been notified and are trying to figure out the video's origin. Sharing said the image is considered distribution and you could be criminally charged for doing so. One of the Facebook messages asks recipients to make the image or video in the message "go viral" in order to "give justice to the victim", Breaking 911 reported.
If you have information on the identity of the girl or man in the video, you're urged to contact Maryland State Police at 410-653-4200. "As this examination continues, law implementation issues a suggestion to the general population that ownership, dispersal or sharing of this video is a criminal demonstration".
If you receive a message or email containing child pornography, police recommend immediately deleting it. Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating, including in Ohio, Illinois, Colorado, Tennessee, Alabama, and Missouri.
Facebook will automatically notify the appropriate authorities when an inappropriate video is reported.
They say some recipients may think sharing the video could help find the person responsible for it. "If you are in possession of it, no matter your good intentions, that is also a felony", Madison County's Chief Trial Attorney, Tim Gann explained.