WNY sees numerous cases of inappropriate encounters with minors
There has been a string of arrests across Western New York, all involving inappropriate encounters between adults and children. Law enforcement officers continue to face new challenges in their battle to protect children from sexual abuse.
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CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. -- Cheektowaga Police have arrested the the owner of a local floor hockey center for sending sexually explicit messages to a 16-year-old boy.
"He knew the young man through hockey at the arena," Captain Jim Speyer said.
Randall Kosinski, 49, is being charged with harassment and endangering the welfare of a minor. Captain Speyer said the contact didn't go further than text messages and phone calls.
"It's disturbing that a 16-year-old young man would have to go through this and we certainly are hoping there are no others," he said.
In a similar case in Alden, a high school teacher pleaded guilty to sending sexual messages to a 16-year-old student.
"People who have positions of trust are given a lot more latitude with our children than others would be," FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jason Jarnagin said.
In Chautauqua County, it appears to have gone beyond sending messages. Ralph Bush, 75, is accused of sexually abusing two underage girls.
"People will strategically place themselves to get closer to children. They'll do that either in person or they'll do it online," Jarnagin said.
Jarnigan is the Federal Agent in Charge of Western New York's Child Exploitation Task Force. He said he's seeing more and more cases of adults making sexual advances toward children.
"The traditional means of exploiting children have always existed but we're finding that while technology has a lot of benefits to it, it also has its downfalls," he said.
Police said in order for parents to protect their children they have to know what their children are up to.
"They need to be involved in their social media, they need to know what they're receiving on their phone, what text messages they're receiving, what's going on, on their internet," Speyer said.
If something doesn't seem right, Speyer said, report it to the proper authorities before it can go any further.