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Miami man's Twitter account used as evidence of sex crimes

Floridians are living in a digital age. Much of people's lives are in some way related to the internet including on social media sites. While many people likely believe that social media -- including Facebook and Twitter -- are harmless, Florida residents should know that law enforcement officials closely monitor content on these sites to ensure that no illegal activity is occurring. In particular, police very closely monitor these sites for possession of child pornography and other child sex abuse.

Recently, a Miami-Dade firefighter has been arrested and charged with sex crimes after police became aware of tweets the man was sending from his personal Twitter account. Specifically, the 38-year-old man has been charged with promoting the sexual performance of a minor.

According to police, the man had sent tweets that contained sexually explicit images. Police claim that they had confirmed that the man sent out at least 16 images from his Twitter account that contained images of young girls -- between 14-years-old and 17-years-old -- engaged in sexual behavior. This discovery came after police identified at least one child in a tweet by using software designed to detect the presence of child pornography and raided his computer to search for others. The man, on the other hand, says that he had no idea the images contained children. He believed that he was just sending racy pictures to friends through Twitter -- which allows pornographic material. The man had sent thousands of pictures from the account. This case shows how aggressive Florida police will be in trying to find anyone that may be involved in the production of child pornography or who are in possession of child pornography. Even simple mistakes, made through social media, can be subject to a police investigation and result in criminal charges. People need to protect themselves and their rights if they have fallen under police scrutiny. Certain steps can be taken to help minimize the consequences of the sex crime charges.

Source: Miami Herald, "Miami-Dade firefighter charged with sharing sexual images of underage girls - on Twitter," David Ovalle, April 18, 2014

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