WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Williamson County Sheriff’s Office revealed disturbing details Tuesday about a Franklin pastor accused to possessing sexually explicit videos of minors.
But what alerted deputies was a CyberTip coming from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC).
Daryl Hayes, 50, faces six counts of sexual exploitation of a minor. According to documents, he viewed at least six video files spread out over a number of months during the fall and used his church’s internet to upload them.
“Anytime that we become aware of someone who’s in a position of trust, who is really a pillar of the community, someone you wouldn’t think would be actively engaged in this type of activity, it’s more disappointing than it is shocking,” said John Shehan, Vice President of the Exploited Children Division of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Hayes was terminated from Berrys Chapel Church of Christ. According to officials, the investigation stemmed from a tip sent to deputies from NCMEC.
“At NCMEC, we receive anywhere from 80 to 100,000 reports a day related to individuals who are disseminating or trading child sexual abuse material,” Shehan said.
Suspects might think they’re being discrete by watching inappropriate content at work, or any public wifi away from their home internet. But Shehan says that’s not the case.
“Companies here in the United States, there is a law that requires them, if they become aware of individuals who are disseminating child sexual abuse material on their platforms, they must make a report to our cyber tipline and then we, in turn, provide this information to law enforcement for review,” he explained.
Even tech providers like Google, Dropbox and Twitter are required to report such content on their sites. Tips can also be called in anonymously by the public.
“We’re able to make a difference in the lives of children we’ll never meet, we’re able to prevent future victimizations from ever occurring through the work that we’re doing, so it’s highly impactful, highly rewarding and as you can imagine very challenging and difficult work at the same time,” Shehan said.
If you have something you’d like to report, you can call 1-800-THE-LOST or at report.cybertip.org.