Researcher busted in child Internet sex sting

Authorities arrested 38-year-old Aaron Beaston-Blaakman in Louisiana.

The Cary man, a former college professor, is expected back in Louisiana in May for a court hearing.

Beaston-Blaakman was arrested last year at the Kenner, La. airport in an online sex sting. Police say he thought he was flying there to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.

"It is the tip of the iceberg," SBI Special Agent Kevin West said.

West heads the state's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. He knew all about Thursday's arrest of Dream Sports co-owner Richard Ahmed before the arrest happened.

Ahmed, also of Cary, was apparently nabbed in a Raleigh Police online sting.

If the arrest of either man, both married, white collar workers, surprises anyone, West says it shouldn't.

"Surprise at the prominence of the citizen should [not] play an effect in it at all," Agent West said. "It's people who can't afford to buy computers [who] aren't on the computer doing it."

West says the good news is that more and more Internet child predators are being busted and most of the time the charges stick.

"Ninety-nine percent of those people plead guilty in court," West said. "Very few of 'em ever go to trial. There's so much overwhelming evidence."

West says there's still a need for more resources to ferret out cyber stalkers in North Carolina and he says parents need to constantly monitor their children -- just like he monitors his.

West says children deserve privacy on some things but not the Internet. He says parents should know all their children's password and should periodically check their computer history to see where their children's have been.

The Agent also says parents should call their legislators and encourage then to continue to fund the efforts of cyber crime investigators.

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