O ne of Raven Kaliana 's earliest memories is being taken to a family portrait studio by her parents, at around the age of four. The studio was in the basement of a department store in a town 50 miles from their home. Once they had arrived, they waited for another couple to arrive with their own child. But while they sat eating ice cream, the images being made in the studio down below were far from happy family portraits. Raven and her companion had just been sold into the child abuse industry. It was to be the beginning of a year ordeal, which saw Raven regularly trafficked by her parents and other members of an organised crime ring from her home in a middle-class suburb in the American north-west to locations all over the US and abroad. In her teens, the crimes were often perpetrated in Los Angeles, where many film studios provided ample opportunity for the underground child abuse industry in the 70s and 80s. Her father, precariously self-employed after losing his teaching job, was violent towards her younger brother, but since she had become the family breadwinner, Raven was granted a peculiar status.
A Criminal Underworld of Child Abuse, Part 2
Even more memorable than the crumbling property with its hectares of forest and decaying outbuildings, were the two elderly men to whom we were introduced when we arrived, who were enjoying an afternoon gin and tonic in the library. The two men had remained on excellent terms for 40 years. It also ticked every box for lascivious British assumptions about the French, among whom infidelity, at least among the rich, powerful and famous, has long been something of a hallmark of a specifically French insouciance.
more on this story
The challenge is when, in the course of your reporting, you come across something so depraved and so shocking that it demands attention. People have to know about this, but nobody wants to hear about it. Today: A monthslong Times investigation uncovers a digital underworld of child sexual abuse imagery that is hiding in plain sight. In part one, my colleagues Michael Keller and Gabriel Dance on the almost unfathomable scale of the problem — and just how little is being done to stop it. So it all began with a tip. Early last year, we got a tip from a guy, and this guy was looking up bullets. Bullets for guns. And while he was looking up these bullets, he started getting results of children being sexually abused.
So we explained to them a little bit about our reporting and why it was so important that we speak with them. All we can say is that this is a mom and a stepdad who live on the West Coast. I mean, we started this not knowing anything about it.