OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
APRIL 2, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD
KC MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO DISTRIBUTING
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to distributing child pornography to a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, but who was in reality an undercover law enforcement officer.
Steven E. Robbins, 52, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner this morning to the charge contained in an April 11, 2008, federal indictment.
Robbins admitted that on Nov. 7, 2006, he communicated over the Internet with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, but who in reality was an undercover law enforcement officer. Robbins transmitted video of himself masturbating via live webcam and sent several images of child pornography (including three child pornography images of known victims of approximately 9 to 11 years of age) over the Internet.
Robbins also admitted that he had been trading images of child pornography online approximately twice a week over a two-year period. A forensic examination of Robbins’ computer unearthed approximately 130 still images and two movies of child pornography, including multiple images of victims under the age of 12 and images that depicted sadistic behavior. Investigators also discovered hundreds of additional images of child pornography found in temporary Internet space, drive free space and cache.
Under federal statutes, Robbins is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Washington State Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at