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Like most 16-year-olds, Renee's world is in her bedroom.She hangs out here with her friends, and spends hours on her computer.But what's she's doing in her bedroom would make a lot of mothers blush.Renee is a "Cam Girl"-- just one of hundreds of young girls who compete for attention on the Web by putting webcam photos and videos of themselves online. But it isn't free: For four days it's .95; for a month it's .95; for six months it's .95. There's chat, information about how she does her hair and where she shops, and Renee's daily journal.It was very innocent."But then "48 Hours" showed Robin pictures that were taken for the web site of Ashley wearing lingerie, and a thong. Last April they shut down the site and charged its owner and photographer, James Grady, with 880 counts of violating a specific Colorado statute against the Sexual Exploitation of Children. Mike Miller and Andy Contiguglia, Grady's attorneys, say Colorado authorities have gone too far.More provocative material is out there, they say, much of it commercially available in books and magazines, and isn't being prosecuted in Colorado.
To prevent her fans from finding her, Cindy's last name and location are kept secret. Newbury spends more than 10 hours a day tending to his new business.
He says that many members are middle-aged men and he admits that some of them are looking at the pictures sexually. Fred Berlin, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins Univerity Hospital who treats patients with sexual disorders, says that an older man who belongs to the site is likely to have "something very different or abnormal about his sexual make-up."Why would an adult pay every month to belong to this site?
"I think adults who are doing this have some sort of infatuation with this youngster," says Berlin. He admits, though, that he himself is more easily found.
Renee has also posted more than 500 photos on the site.
Some of them are sweet, some are strange, many are provocative. Renee's mother Barbara claims she is mystified by Renee's virtual success, saying she has "no idea" why the site is so popular. But Renee thinks differently: "They're hoping to see goodies. Her mother says that older guys will look at her daughter no matter what. So I mean they're gonna look at her no matter where she's at," Barbara says. In addition to the member fees, Renee also gets paid for directly linking her Web site to other Web sites, including one that is pornographic.