Behind the Lens: Child Pornography

May 23, 2012
Every day, innocent children are being preyed upon and exploited by adults. Unthinkable to most people, sexually-explicit images of children are being created and distributed by thousands of criminals across the country, causing long-lasting trauma and damage to innocent victims. Dr. Phil examines the shocking but growing world of child pornography. Warning: This episode contains strong sexual content. Viewer discretion is advised.


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Travis and RichelleMichael, with his sisterPediatrician Dr. Sharon CooperAlicia, two weeks before her abductionAlicia, nowJustin, thenJustin, nowAttorney Carol Hepburn

Continuing the Cycle?

Richelle and Travis say they know firsthand what happens when a child suffers from such horrific abuse. They adopted 5-year-old Michael, who was a victim of a child pornographer, and although they felt prepared to help him recover, they had no idea the magnitude of his abuse or what to expect once he hit puberty. Then at 10 years old, the unthinkable happened.


Richelle and Travis explain the early signs of Michael’s traumatic past.

Find out what happened in the dark of night that shocked his parents. “Michael’s acts were calculated.”


What is the next step for these parents? Will Michael ever be able to come home again? An expert weighs in.

Michael has been convicted of one count of involuntary deviant sexual intercourse at age 12. He’s currently in a treatment facility. Dr. Sharon Cooper has offered to help Richelle and Travis with determining what’s best for Michael and their family.



Cautionary Tales

Alicia says she was a typical 13-year-old honor roll student when she befriended an older man online who made her feel special and important. Now 24, she shares how their encounter turned her world upside down. Plus, Justin, 25, says when he was 13, he was coerced by online predators into producing his own sexually-explicit images and videos. Learn how he says he was lured into the seedy underbelly of the Web.


Alicia explains how a predator she met online was able to abduct and torture her.

One the day she believed was going to be her last, Alicia was rescued. 


Justin explains how he became a victim. “They complimented me. They gave me gifts. They praised me. They treated me like I was God.”

Alicia has testified on behalf of Alicia’s Law in congress. Alicia’s Law is a state initiative building a state’s capacity to combat crimes against children. Versions of Alicia's Law have been enacted in California, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia. Learn more about Alicia's Law here.

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