danish man arrested in new york, charged with distributing child porn;
distributed video of St. Joseph minor over the internet
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Randers, Denmark man has been charged with distributing child pornography after he transferred video of a St. Joseph, Mo., minor over the Internet.
Kai Lundstroem Pedersen, 60, a citizen of Denmark, was charged in a federal criminal complaint that was filed under seal on Sept. 3, 2010. Pedersen, who was visiting the United States, was arrested on Friday, Sept. 3, 2010, in Stonybrook, N.Y. The criminal complaint was unsealed today. Pedersen remains in federal custody in New York, and will be transported to Kansas City for a court appearance and detention hearing.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Pedersen initially contacted the 11-year-old minor, identified as “L.S.,” in an online chat in mid or late July. During that chat, L.S. activated her webcam and took off all of her clothing. She deactivated her webcam and ended the conversation, the affidavit says, when Pedersen activated his own webcam.
In the following days, the affidavit says, L.S. received multiple e-mails from Pedersen asking her to get on webcam again. When she refused, Pedersen allegedly told her that he had recorded the webcam session and that he was going to upload it onto the Internet where other people could see it. He sent her a video clip and photos taken from the webcam session.
Pedersen sent messages to L.S.’s Facebook account, the affidavit alleges, describing how many times the photos and video of L.S. had already been downloaded by others, taunting her about how she may be recognized by others who had viewed the images, and threatening to continue to disseminate the images. Pedersen allegedly created several Facebook profiles and sent messages to L.S. using those profiles, purportedly from individuals claiming to have seen portions of the webcam video on the Internet. Some of those messages asked to have sexual activity with the victim, or threatened the victim with forcible sexual activity or other violence, the affidavit says.
On Aug. 13, 2010, the victim’s mother contacted law enforcement authorities. The mother told an officer that she learned of the contact between Pedersen and L.S. after receiving Facebook messages that contained nude images of her daughter.
The officer obtained L.S.’s login information and permission to utilize the victim’s accounts in an undercover manner. According to the affidavit, the officer, posing as the minor victim, communicated online with Pedersen and learned that he was leaving on vacation Aug. 20. When Pedersen logged into his Facebook account on Aug. 25, the affidavit says, investigators were able to trace his IP address to a residence in Stonybrook, N.Y. Homeland Security records indicate that Pedersen entered the United States on a Danish passport on Aug. 23, 2010.
Phillips cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
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.