Sept. 5, 2010— -- A 170-page manual explaining step by step how to molest children which police in Orange County, Fla., believe has been circulating there for months, is not illegal. Investigators have stated that they still want to know where it came from.
"I've never seen anything like it. It was pretty amazing when I first saw it just because how detailed it was," Orange County Sheriff's Office Det. Philip Graves told ABC News Orlando, Fla., affiliate WFTV.
The manual, which was apparently written by someone who calls himself "the mule," is a how-to of child molestation, even explaining where and how to find potential victims, the station reported.
"I was more amazed that someone would be as bold as to create an actual 170-page document that would detail how to do it," he said.
Among the many disturbing topics covered in the book is how to convince a victimized child not to tell his or her parents.
"People who are engaged in the exploitation of children are talking about these things, and how to avoid law enforcement," Seminole County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Dan Purcell told TV station WESH-TV in Orlando.
Deputies with the sheriff's sexual offender surveillance squad have been aware of the manual for the past six months, Graves told WFTV.
The sheriff's office received it through an e-mail listserve, he said.
"We personally haven't worked a case on it, but it has been located within our region," Graves said.
Graves told WFTV that it is not a crime in Orange County to send the manual by e-mail or to possess it, but local and federal investigators are trying to track down where the manual initially came from.
Deputies believe whoever is responsible may have committed crimes against children.