Google Mail Scanning Helps to Catch Child Molester

A cyber-tip, generated by Google and then sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, has led to the arrest of a 41-year-old previous convicted child molester from Houston. The Police say that Google detected explicit images of a young girl in one of the emails of John Henry Skillern was trying to send to a friend and alerted the authorities.

“He was trying to get around getting caught, he was trying to keep it inside his email,” said Detective David Nettles of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce. “I can’t see that information, I can’t see that photo, but Google can.”

Skillern is a registered sex offender who was convicted of sexually assaulting an 8 year-old boy back in 1994. According to the Sex Offender Registry he lives in Houston, but the police said he spends a lot of his time at his parent’s home in Pasadena.

After obtaining a search warrant, investigators said they found child porn on both Skillern’s phone and tablet. They also found text messages and e-mails where he talked about his interest in children. Skillern also worked as a cook for a Denny’s restaurant in Pasadena. They say he also had video on his cell phone of young children visiting the restaurant with their families.

“He seemed like a nice, normal man,” said neighbour Yesenia Gonzales. “Thank goodness for Google.”

Skillern has been charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of promotion of child pornography and is being held on a $200,000 bond. Google wouldn’t respond to our questions about their technology used to fight child porn, but police are grateful for the tip. “I really don’t know how they do their job,” said Nettles. “But I’m just glad they do it.”

Thank you KHOU for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of KHOU