Payette Man Pleads Guilty to Possessing Child Pornography
BOISE – Steven Ray Hemenway, 47, of Payette, Idaho, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court to possessing sexually explicit images of minors, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
According to the plea agreement, in December 2012, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at a residence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The individual at that residence confessed to distributing images of child pornography via his e-mail account. Investigators reviewed the account and developed information that the Canadian subject had sent images and videos of child pornography to an e-mail account associated with Hemenway. In February 2013, federal agents executed a search warrant at Hemenway’s home in Payette and seized his computer. During an interview with investigators, Hemenway admitted that he had been receiving child pornography via the Internet for several years, according to the plea agreement. He also told agents that he had e-mailed between 100 and 500 images of child pornography to approximately ten other e-mail accounts during the previous year.
The images and videos recovered from Hemenway’s computer confirmed that the user had been receiving and distributing child pornography, including sexually explicit material depicting prepubescent minors.
The material was sent to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) for comparison with previously identified victims of abuse. According to NCMEC, among the images found on Hemenway’s computer were previously known victims from North Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Missouri, Connecticut, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Canada, United Kingdom, Ukraine, France and Belgium.
The charge is punishable by up to ten years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and five years to lifetime supervised release.
Sentencing is set for February 25, 2014, before U.S. District Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”
Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) is a collaborative effort by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and communities to prevent and deter gun violence.