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Neighbors react to child porn arrest

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Albany/HV: Neighbors react to child porn arrest
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Outrage in Cohoes after a local man gets busted in the largest child pornography take down in United States history. Our Solomon Syed has more on what neighbors are saying and on just how horrible the photos and videos are, ones officials call "a nightmare."

COHOES, N.Y. -- Cohoes residents respond to news one of their own, 36-year-old Benet Schmidt, who lives on Saratoga Street, was arrested for participating in a secret, online child porn network dubbed "Dreamboard."

"It's really disgusting," said Tom Rifenberg. "It's really not good to have someone like that in our community."

"One of them lives down the street?" asked Jake Taylor. "I can't even believe it."

"I think it's disgusting, I think they should be put in jail," said Susan O'Neill, who witnessed the raid on Schmidt's home. "They were going into the house and taking multiple, boxes back and forth."

Officials say "Dreamboard" demanded participants regularly submit photos to maintain their membership. Many of the victims were under the age of 12. Some were even infants.

"It promoted the creation and dissemination of child pornography all over the world," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Schmidt's name appears on an indictment with 72 other people from around the world, who allegedly possessed and posted some of the most heinous pictures you would never want to see.

"I mean we see a lot of cases now, with infants," said Lt. Joe Donohue, who oversees the State Police's Internet Crimes Against Children unit. "They're in diapers, they're six-months-old. It's not just a picture. Child pornography is a picture of a child engaged in sexual activity."

"Hearing that it's not only 13-year-olds, it's 8-year-olds, it's 7-year-olds, just gives you that weird feeling in your stomach," said Taylor.

"[I tell] my daughters with their little kids, they're 5 and 9 and I tell them people are sick," said O'Neill.

Some of the victims were lured into sending photos of themselves over the internet. If you're worried about your child falling prey to an online sexual predator, the Rensselaer County Sexual Assault & Crime Victims Assistance Program has some advice.

"Just some things to watch out for are children going online late at night, children receiving unexpected gifts or phone calls from people the parents don't know," said counselor Lindsey Crusan. "Those are some warning signs to look out for."

Crusan also says if your kids use the computer, make sure it's set up in a public area, like the kitchen or the living room, so you can keep an eye on them.

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