December 18, 2005
The Horrifying Tale of Justin Berry
Posted by Gordon Smith

Did you read the NYT story by Kurt Eichenwald about webcam porn? It is a compelling account of Justin Berry's seduction by online pedophiles. Justin began "performing" on his webcam at age 13, made hundreds of thousands of dollars over the ensuing five years, then turned into a government witness.

Eichenwald met Justin in pursuit of a story, but convinced him to quit using drugs, abandon his online business, and provide evidence to prosecutors. The evidence gathered from Justin includes the names and credit card information for 1,500 people who paid him to perform on camera.

Sometimes we talk about child porn in sanitized ways that do not convey adequately the ugliness and depravity of the participants. Reading and hearing about these online communities in Justin's words was an unsettling revelation to me.

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