Date: April 11, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, (863) 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
Internet Safety Tips Offered Following Arrest Of Suspect For Lewd Battery On 2 Teenagers

Following the recent arrest of a 41-year-old Lake Hamilton man for committing lewd acts on two teenage female victims he contacted on-line, the Polk County Sheriff's Office Computer Crimes Unit is offering Internet safety tips for parents.

Ronald Davis, Jr., DOB 3/10/61, of 104 Gordon Drive in Lake Hamilton, was arrested late Tuesday (Apr. 9, 2002), and charged with a total of 44 counts of lewd battery and lewd molestation against two 14-year-old female victims. According to detectives, Davis contacted the victims on-line and arranged to meet them. He struck up an on-going relationship with them during which he committed lewd battery and lewd molestation against the victims numerous times. Davis was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail on no bond. The investigation is continuing.

The internet has opened a world of information for anyone with a computer and a connection.  Our children stand to benefit greatly from this extraordinary resource tool.  But, just as you wouldn't send your child near a busy road without some safety rules, you shouldn't send them on to the information super highway without the rules of the road. The Polk County Sheriff's Office offers the following Internet safety tips that all parents should follow:

     Keep the computer - including laptops - in a family room rather than a child's bedroom.

     Establish a password for the computer to prevent children from being online without your knowledge.

     Instruct children to never give out personal information on the computer, such as their name, address, and phone number.

     Consult a computer dealer regarding the use of blocking software.

     Tell children not to respond to any messages that make them feel uncomfortable and to notify you immediately.

     Tell children to never agree to meet face to face with someone they've met online.

     Make going online a "family" activity.

For  more information about internet safety, please contact the Community
Services Section at 863-534-0980, or the Computer Crimes Unit at 297-3101.

XXX

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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