MASON MAN ARRESTED BASED ON INDICTMENT ALLEGING 115 COUNTS OF PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
THURSDAY JANUARY 20, 2011
Public Affairs Officer
CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged Andrew Faires Keith, 27, of Mason, with 115 counts of producing child pornography. The indictment also charges Keith with one count each of transportation and possession of child pornography. FBI agents and West Chester Police officers, assisted by Mason Police officers, arrested Keith at his home this morning.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Keith Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Division (FBI), and West Chester Police Chief Erik Niehaus announced the indictment, which was returned yesterday and unsealed following Keith’s arrest.
The indictment alleges that on multiple occasions during 2002 and 2003, Keith coerced or forced at least three minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct, photographed the boys, and traded the images over the Internet. Keith came to the attention of law enforcement after he traded the photos over the Internet with an individual in South Carolina.
Keith had his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman this morning. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Muncy asked the court to detain Keith without bond, stating that the government considers Keith to be an opportunistic offender based on the fact that the children he abused in this case were being cared for by his mother at her in-home daycare in West Chester. Magistrate Judge Bowman set a detention hearing for Keith for Tuesday, January 25, at 1:30 p.m.
Each count of production of child pornography is punishable by at least 10 years and up to 20 years in prison. Transportation of child pornography is punishable by at least 5 years and up to 20 years in prison. Possession of child pornography is punishable by up to ten years in prison.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, 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 identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.
Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by FBI agents and West Chester Police detectives, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Muncy, who is prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.