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From Hollywood to the Vatican, child porn cases impact every sector of society

Dr. NG Berrill, a psychologist who runs New York Forensic, said he talks to 200 sex offenders every year. A lot of them were busted for viewing child porn.

“We’ve seen through this practice law enforcement, attorneys, physicians, educators, clergyman and people who you think would know better,” Dr. Berrill told PIX11. “There’s something compulsive about the looking at the pornography, that’s clear.”

“There is no, sole profile,” said Michael Osborn, Assistant Special Agent in Charge at the New York FBI, who’s supervises the bureau’s Violent Crime branch and oversees the Child Exploitation Squad. “One thing we’re not surprised at: the different types of individuals involved.”

PIX11 wanted to look at what drives people to view or produce child porn, after a recent spate of high-profile cases.

A former actor in the hit series “Glee” — Mark Salling — pleaded guilty this past week to possession of 50,000 images of prepubescent children.

The same week, 74 year old musician, Jerry Yester — who performed with the 1960’s group Lovin’ Spoonful — was busted in Arkansas for child porn.

In September, the Vatican recalled a priest from its diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. — after the State Department notified the Holy See, investigators found evidence implicating the priest in a child pornography case.

“I can’t talk about existing cases right now,” Agent Osborn said, “But I will tell you I have personally searched rectories and other types of sensitive locations. You can never be surprised by who would be associated with these types of images.”

The FBI posted an informational video this year on its website called The Scourge of Child Pornography. In it, the agency quoted a 2015 finding from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. That year, the organization found 26 million images or videos of children in sexual situations, when searching the web.

“There’s no one type of person that looks at child porn, “ Dr. Berrill said, “except to say that most are men.”

In April this year, former NYPD Sergeant Alberto Randazzo was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison. He was arrested in 2013 and charged with directing “live” videos on the web, with women abusing victims as young as babies.

When PIX11 asked Berrill if many of these porn viewers had been victimized themselves as children, the psychologist said no.

“Their curiosity gets the best of them, the ease with which they can get the stuff,” Berrill said. “It’s like any other compulsion: once you get started, you want to keep looking and looking. A good number of the guys we see and evaluate, as it turns out, don’t really have a general sexual interest in kids. But they certainly have hundreds or thousands of photographs of kids.”

Berrill added, “They’re wondering what turns other people on. They’ll acknowledge they’re bored. Sometimes, they’ll say they’re drinking or using drugs.”

The FBI told PIX11 it has 72 child exploitation task forces around the nation. It also engages in undercover “sting” operations online, just like many local law enforcement agencies.

“This is a crime that really has a long-lasting impact on children,” Agent Osborn said.

Dr. Berrill added, “I thought given the coverage this has gotten, it would just slow up. But that has not been the case.”