Grooming is the process which usually involves the offender making contact with children in a chat room. Over a period of time, weeks or months, he will try to befriend a youngster, particularly someone who appears to be naive or vulnerable.
Stages of Grooming:
1. Conversation begins as a seemingly innocent online conversation. Many molesters have a “6th sense” as to who can be more easily victimized. They target neglected, needy children, often from troubled homes.
2. Conversations eventually turn to sex as the pedophile tries to ‘snare’ his victim. The child may be encouraged to take indecent photographs and then email the images to him.
3. Worst-case scenario, the pedophile may try to persuade the victim to agree to a meeting in person.