United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins
Western District of North Carolina
BUNCOMBE CO. MAN SENTENCED TO 63 MONTHS
IN PRISON ON CHILD PORNOGRAPHY CHARGES
Another Man Was Sentenced to 10 years in Prison for Enticing a Minor Using the Internet
ASHEVILLE, N.C. – A Buncombe County man was sentenced on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, to serve over five years in a federal prison for possession of child pornography, announced Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Martin Reidinger ordered the defendant to register as a sex offender and serve the rest of his life under court supervision after he is released from prison.
In October 2010, a federal criminal indictment charged Paul Jeremias, 54, of Asheville, with one count of possession of visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Jeremias pled guilty to the charge in June 2011. According to filed court documents and court proceedings, during the investigation detectives discovered an extensive collection of child pornography, including a computer hard drive and numerous CDs and DVDs that Jeremias had burned himself. In total, the investigation revealed that Jeremias possessed over 10,000 images of child pornography, including images of sadistic and masochistic conduct.
“The Asheville Police Department is very proud of our continued role in hunting down and bringing to justice these types of child predators in our community. The Asheville Police Department is committed to maintaining our great partnership with the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and our law enforcement partners throughout the region. We would also like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their tireless work and assistance in this investigation,” said Chief William J. Anderson of the Asheville Police Department.
In a separate case, Kim Eden Kennedy, 56, of Black Mountain, N.C., was sentenced Thursday, March 15, 2012, to serve 120 months in prison and a lifetime of supervised release on charges of online enticement of a minor. Judge Reidinger also ordered the defendant to register as a sex offender.
Kennedy was indicted in March 2011 for attempting to meet an individual he believed to be a 13 year old female to engage in sexual acts. Kennedy had placed solicitations on Craigslist in an attempt to entice young girls but unknowingly made contact with law enforcement instead. Eventually, Kennedy asked the individual he believed to be a 13 year old girl to meet with him alone. Kennedy actually drove to the agreed location hoping to meet the 13 year old girl, but fled when he suspected police involvement. He was later apprehended at his residence. He pled guilty to the charge in August 2011.
“The Buncombe Co. Sheriff’s Office remains committed to its partnerships with the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in combating child exploitation here in Buncombe County. There is not a more innocent victim than a child that is exploited by a predator,” said Buncombe County Sherriff Van Duncan. “We will continue to work diligently to curb the exploitation of children in our community. We would like to express our thanks to our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their work and assistance in this investigation.”
“It is co-operations and partnerships such as the ICAC that enable the U.S. Attorney’s Office to join forces with our law enforcement partners to find and prosecute those who are out to harm our most vulnerable population, our children,” said U.S. Attorney Tompkins. “My office will continue to use any means necessary to ensure that children in this district are protected from predators like Jeremias and Kennedy.”
Both Jeremias and Kennedy are in local federal custody and will be transferred into custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. Federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
The investigation into Jeremias was handled by the Asheville Police Department. Kennedy’s investigation was handled by the Buncombe County’s Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of the Fletcher Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Thorneloe of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Asheville.
These cases were 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 U.S. 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.