Last updated: February 19. 2013 5:17PM - 547 Views

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HANOVER TWP. – Luzerne County Detective Charles Balogh was late for lunch on Tuesday for a good reason: He had to interview a witness in an ongoing child pornography case.

Balogh was the guest speaker at the Crime Clinic of Greater Wyoming Valley's monthly lunch at the Wyoming Valley Country Club.

An expert in investigations into child pornography and computer crimes, Balogh warned about the dangers of today's technology for juveniles.

You need to understand today's technology, Balogh cautioned. If you don't, it could be disastrous.

Balogh is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and one of four members with the state police Northeast Computer Crime Unit that investigates computer crimes in 10 Northeastern Pennsylvania counties.

He has an office in the detective division at the Luzerne County Courthouse and at the state police computer crime lab in Hanover Township, where he spends most of his time.

Calling himself a non-traditional police officer, Balogh said he loves his work investigating crimes committed via computer, cellphone or other electronic devices. He said burnout for a computer forensics investigator is about five years, but Balogh said he doesn't see himself slowing down.

He receives 10 or more tips a month from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children about child pornography being downloaded or shared in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Balogh cautioned children are using cellphones to send inappropriate pictures of themselves to friends, not knowing how fast the picture can be shared. He explained a recent case in which a lewd picture of a middle-school age female was sent to more than 500 cellphones within 30 minutes.

Parents don't realize the dangers, Balogh said, suggesting parents need to strictly monitor their children's use on computers, chat rooms and cellphone calls and texts.

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