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Jul 29, 12:36 PM EDT

77 charged in Scottish crackdown on online child sex abuse


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LONDON (AP) -- Scottish police have charged 77 people and found more than 30 million pictures of young people being abused during a six-week operation against online child abuse.

Police Scotland says 122 youngsters have been referred to child-protection services, and more than 500 children between 3 and 18 identified as "victims or potential victims of online predators."

The suspects face more than 390 charges, including rape, grooming, sexual extortion and indecent communication.

Detectives scoured more than 100,000 online chat logs as part of Operation Lattise, focusing on sites and social media platforms used by young people.

Assistant Chief Constable Malcolm Graham said Friday that there is "an evolving and deeply concerning threat posed by predatory sex offenders, given that these offenses can be perpetrated online at the touch of a button."

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