Officials notice trends in repeat sex crimes involving children
State officials say they've seen an increase in the number of criminal sexual conduct cases and that many of the suspects seem to be repeat offenders.
Michigan State Police Trooper, Rich Hall says he has definitely noticed the trend, and that sex offenders are also preying on younger victims.
"We've had sex offenders or suspects be released from prison, reintegrate into society, try to make relationships with people that have children and offend those children within the home," said Hall.
According to the Michigan State Police Sex Offender Registry, as of November, there were 41,013 sex offenders in the state.
"It's like a progressive disease," said Hall. The older they get, the more defiant the behavior becomes. So unless they're put away for a very long time, or forever, when they do get released out back into society they are going to reoffend and their behavior becomes even more deviant."
Grand Traverse County Prosecutor, Bob Cooney says that at times he sees at least one case per week regarding a sex crime involving a child.
"It seems that we're seeing more cases involving younger children and more cases overall," said Cooney.
Authorities say there are multiple theories for why sex offenders are going after more children, but that one sticks out from the rest.
"The porn industry itself is a gateway drug for a lot of these sex offenders," said Hall. "They have normal relationships. A lot of these guys do. Throughout their entire life they become involved in porn. Just routine sex with their wife or girlfriend at a normal age doesn't do it for them. They become more deviant and they resort to child porn or molesting a child.
Even though more than 41-thousand people are convicted sex offenders in the state, only 37,613 appear on the public registry. 119,17 sex offenders are currently behind bars.