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danish man indicted for extortion, producing child porn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 29, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Randers, Denmark man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for producing child pornography and for extortion.

Kai Lundstroem Pedersen, 60, a citizen of Denmark, was charged in an eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed against Pedersen on Sept. 3, 2010, and adds an additional victim and additional charges. Pedersen remains in federal custody following his arrest in New York on Sept. 3, 2010, awaiting transfer to Kansas City, Mo.

Pedersen is charged with one count of producing and one count of attempting to produce child pornography, four counts of transporting child pornography over the Internet, and two counts of extortion. Pedersen allegedly used a minor, identified as “Jane Doe#1,” to produce child pornography between July 1 and July 13, 2010. Pedersen allegedly attempted to use another minor, identified as “Jane Doe#2,” to produce child pornography between Aug. 12 to Aug. 13, 2010. Pedersen is charged with extortion for threatening both victims.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Pedersen initially contacted an 11-year-old Buchanan County, Mo., girl in an online chat in mid or late July. During that chat, Pedersen, using an online false alias, allegedly told her to activate her webcam and take off her clothes, which she did. She deactivated her webcam and ended the conversation, the affidavit says, when Pedersen activated his own webcam.

In the following days, the affidavit says, she 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 the victim’s Facebook account, the affidavit alleges, describing how many times the photos and video 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 the victim 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 with Pedersen after receiving Facebook messages that contained nude images of her daughter.

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 charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges 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 Patrick D. Daly and Trial Attorney Keith Becker of the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section. It was investigated by the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

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.

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