Reports of child molestation and sexual predators are up in Columbia County. That's why the sheriff's office warned parents Tuesday morning that some groups say sex with children is natural.
News 12 is on your side with how to spot a predator.
Investigator Bruce Walker told moms Tuesday about a group called NAMBLA, or the North American Man / Boy Love Association. They say it's natural for adults to be sexually attracted to kids.
Mother Glennita Royer says she's going to be more careful. Predators tend to take up hobbies that involve children, gain their trust, and try to seduce them.
"He brought up a lot of things a lot of us hadn't thought about," Royer said.
Reports of abuse are on the rise in Columbia County.
Coming up in court, there are 21 counts of crimes against kids, ranging from cruelty to children to aggravated child molestation.
34 out of the 46 sex offenders on the Columbia County Sex Offender Registry are accused of touching minors.
Investigators say predators often come to public places like the ballpark and may watch or even take pictures of your child without you ever knowing about it.
"He would go to Wal-Mart and take pictures of little girls on the quarter riding thing," said Sgt. Harold Clack.
Sgt. Clack says predators may come up to your child and strike up casual conversation before they make a move.
"A child can be totally destroyed at a very young age," he said.
Deputies say the victim can be destroyed. But groups like NAMBLA call it sexual preference. Shocking for mothers like Glennita.
"It helps people to recognize what's going on out there," she said.
The investigators ended the meeting by telling the group to keep a close watch on their kids.