Representatives with Clarksville and Franklin Police have both sent warnings about a video showing child pornography is being disseminated through Facebook Messenger.
"A repulsive video of an adult engaged in a sex act with a child is making its way across the country on social media," said Franklin Police in a release Monday. "Well-intended citizens, from Franklin & beyond, are sharing the video via social media in an attempt to help identify the suspect."
However, police say law enforcement have identified both the child victim and adult perpetrator in the video, who both have no ties to the Middle Tennessee area.
With that in mind, police ask that people stop sharing and forwarding the video unnecessarily as it perpetuates its distribution.
"FIRST AND FOREMOST, DO NOT SHARE THIS VIDEO even if it appears to be coming from a friend," said Clarksville Police in a release Monday. "There is no purpose to forward, share, or view the video in an effort to catch to catch the perpetrator."
Police say redistributing this video, which is considered child pornography, is illegal and can result in the seizure of an electronic device containing the pornographic material.
The US. Justice Department defines child pornography as: Child pornography is a form of child sexual exploitation. Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (persons less than 18 years old). Images of child pornography are also referred to as child sexual abuse images.
Federal law prohibits the production, distribution, importation, reception, or possession of any image of child pornography. A violation of federal child pornography laws is a serious crime, and convicted offenders face fines severe statutory penalties (For more information, see Citizen's Guide to Federal Law on Child Pornography).Officials say Facebook is already aware of it and are taking action to remove the video and images to stop their spread.
Clarksville Police say they are investigating cases from last weekend involving the video, but the only people that should contact local police are those who have shared or opened the video.
If you suspect you have received the video and have not opened it, police say you should just delete it.
"Keep in mind, every time the video is opened or forwarded, the child is being re-victimized," said Clarksville Police.
If you know of any children in danger, please report it to your local law enforcement, state law enforcement, and the FBI.
To report an incident involving the sexual exploitation of children, file a report on the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)'s website at www.cybertipline.com, or call 1-800-843-5678. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.