Detective Sergeant Chris Stouch is an unassuming hero to his colleagues and to those outside the law enforcement and detection profession. Stouch has spent the last several years cruising the internet posing as preteen boys and girls in an effort to lure and capture pedophilic predators. Stouch works with detectives from around Berks County and across the United States in catching internet child predators and is a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children task force.
Stouch has spent countless hours setting up fake profiles in internet chat rooms and message boards as part of his ongoing mission to locate individuals who consume and share child pornography. His methods, Stouch says, involve allowing predators to think that they have some level of mind control over you; that they are able to manipulate you. By letting them think they are luring him into their web, they are actually unknowingly being lured into Stouch’s web.
Stouch says that despite the fact that he is a detective who loves his job, there is nothing fun about what he sees and the people he encounters as part of it. He has two children of his own which is part of his motivation for continuing in such a potentially stomach-churning area of professional detection. But as seasoned as he is, Stouch says that even he is trouble at times dealing with some of the elements of his job.
Stouch holds the distinction of being the first detective in the history of the Lower Heidelberg Township Police Department in Reading, Pennsylvania. He describes the things he sees and the people he encounters as part of his job as “disgusting” and “evil”. His detective work, however, has been integral in more than 30 arrests made in the Reading area involving child exploitation over the past two years.