A big win for digital defenders this week! William Akers, 46, a suspected child predator profiled in our most recent Thorn Alert, is in federal custody facing child pornography charges. After an incredible response from the public and dozens of media outlets, he was identified and brought into custody early Thursday morning following a tip from the public.
ICE Recognizes Role of the Public’s Help
Sarah R. Saldaña, Director of ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) released the following statement:
“I am grateful for the American public’s quick action in response to our appeal for help. Within hours of our request for assistance, more than a million people took notice and started spreading the word on social media and in the press. Because of this incredible support, we were able to identify and arrest a man accused of grossly violating an innocent child.”
We want to echo Director Sarah Saldaña’s words and reiterate the importance of social media and the public’s help in this win. The description of William Akers, and his crime reached 1.6 million people on Twitter and Facebook, and generated more than 80 leads to the HSI tipline, eventually leading to his arrest. We were excited to see Thorn’s supporters join in this effort and would like to extend our thanks to all of our supporters who continue to help us aid in the capture of known predators by sharing our Thorn Alerts through social media and email.