ALMA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Wabaunsee County Sheriff’s Office is hosting a town hall meeting on sexting and child exploitation in Alma Friday night.

“Protecting Our Children: A Town Hall on Sexting, Sextortion, and Bullying” will be held at Wabaunsee High School at 912 Missouri Avenue in Alma starting at 7:00 p.m. This is an adults only meeting, but child care will be provided.

Experts from the FBI Human Trafficking & Child Exploitation Task Force and LifeHouse Child Advocacy Center will lead the discussion.

Wabaunsee County Sheriff Rob Hoskins said this has become more of a problem during the pandemic with children doing remote learning and spending more time online.

“We’ve had victims as young as 8 years old in Wabaunsee County all the way up through the high school age,” Hoskins said. “We’ve had suspects that were local, suspects that were over seas, suspects that were in the United States of all ages.”

Hoskins said children are being approached both through text message and social media. He said some times the kids are blackmailed with a secret and then asked for sexually explicit images of themselves.

Due to them being open investigations, Hoskins is not sharing how many cases have happened in Wabaunsee County.

Hoskins said the point of the town hall is to educate parents about the dangers online. He said he also wants parents to start having an open dialogue with their children about these issues.

Along with the in-person meeting, the town hall will be live streamed on the USD 329 Wabaunsee Schools YouTube Channel.