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updated 1/26/2007 4:39:33 PM ET 2007-01-26T21:39:33
PRESS RELEASE

In less than two weeks, “Dateline’s” investigative series, “To Catch a Predator,” returns to primetime with Chris Hansen traveling from coast to coast reporting in three more investigations. In the upcoming broadcasts, 80 alleged predators are arrested after chatting online about sex with a minor. Like the previous investigations, Chris Hansen confronts many of the men. In addition, on dateline.msnbc.com, Hansen will participate in a live blog during each of the broadcasts and the site will feature exclusive video footage of his conversations with potential predators. The six-week long series will air on Tuesdays, beginning January 30 at 8 PM/ET. 

For the eighth, ninth and tenth investigations, Hansen and NBC News set up its hidden cameras inside homes in Long Beach, Calif., Murphy, Texas and Flagler Beach, Florida. Members of Perverted Justice, the Internet watchdog group and paid consultants to “Dateline NBC,” pretended to be young teens chatting online (ages 11-13 in Long Beach; 12-14 in Murphy; and 13-15 in Flagler Beach). Most of the adults caught in the investigations allegedly attempted to solicit the Perverted Justice decoys for sex.  Some sent graphic sexual images as well. Many of those same men showed up at the house or another location for a rendezvous with the child. For all of these investigations, Perverted Justice teamed up with local law enforcement. The police later arrested and charged the men.

Most of the suspects confronted by Hansen claim their intentions were innocent, and some even acknowledge that they have seen Dateline’s reports on television and still came to the house. One man previously caught in Dateline’s 2006 Riverside investigation showed up eight months later at the undercover house in Long Beach.  Some of the most alarming cases involve prominent members of the community: an active duty police officer, a middle school teacher and successful businessmen. The hidden camera investigations attracted 35 men in three days in Long Beach, 24 men in four days in Murphy and 21 men in four days in Flagler Beach.

On dateline.msnbc.com, Hansen’s live blogs will offer a behind-the-scenes look into his role throughout the investigations. As with previous broadcasts, the website will continue to feature exclusive video footage of the potential predators and Hansen and general online safety tips. In addition, previous shows will be available on-demand after the broadcast. To date, Dateline’s “To Catch a Predator” content on dateline.msnbc.com has generated more than eight million page views and more than 25,000 people have individually emailed Dateline their personal stories and thoughts on the series via the Website.

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