Advocates Push for Education

STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY – A man accused of possessing and disseminating child pornography is facing thousands of additional charges.

25 year-old Adam Hinton, from Port Matilda, was arrested earlier this month. Wednesday, authorities charged him with more than 11,000 additional counts of child sexual abuse.

Hinton worked for the State College Area School District as a custodian.

Local child advocates are speaking out on how to recognize the signs that something may be wrong. They say education is key to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again.

“We can almost never be too careful,” Andrea Boyles, CEO of the Centre County Youth Service Bureau, said.

It’s a lesson Boyles said the Centre County community is learning over and over again.

“We have to notice when something seems off and not be afraid to report that,” she said. “In this case, we’re talking about child pornography, which is child sexual abuse. Any time a child is used in that way, it is child sexual abuse, no matter what the images are.”

After further investigation, police said they found almost 5,000 images of children under 13 in sexual acts on Hinton’s computer. He now faces nearly 11,500 child porn and child sex abuse charges.

“Because what’s happening is happening online most of the time and people are sharing images and sharing information, that really stacks up,” Boyles said. “When we talk about counts and charges, it’s huge.”

Boyles said the best way to stop these predators is education, especially the Stewards of Children training.

“Everyone I talk to who goes through the training, especially young parents, say they’ve learned things that they wouldn’t have thought of otherwise,” she said. “They are more willing to say to a friend or neighbor, ‘that worries me,’ ‘that doesn’t feel right,’ ‘what do you think?’ To open up that conversation in ways that maybe they wouldn’t have before.”

Boyles said so far, more than 5,000 people have been trained in Centre County through this course. It’s two hours long and easy to sign up for.

To learn more about the Stewards of Children training, click here.

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February 07 2021 06:30 pm

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