COLUMBUS MAN ARRESTED FOR COERCION AND ENTICEMENT OF MINOR
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011
Public Affairs Officer
COLUMBUS – Kevin Weiner, 42, of Columbus was arrested today by special agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations for attempting to engage a minor in sexual conduct.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Brian Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in Ohio and Michigan, and Sheriff Jim Karns, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and other members of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, announced the arrest today.
Weiner’s arrest follows a criminal complaint charging him with attempting to sexually coerce and entice a minor by computer. The complaint alleges that Weiner placed an Internet ad entitled “Older looking to suck younger.” Posing as a 14 year-old male, an undercover HSI agent responded to the ad and scheduled a face-to-face meeting with Weiner. Agents subsequently met Weiner at the agreed upon location, where he admitted to his efforts to engage a minor sexually. The complaint details Weiner’s graphic account of his intent with the minor.
A late January search warrant executed at Weiner’s home revealed child pornography depicting prepubescent boys on his home computer. Subsequent interviews with Weiner revealed his past involvement with other minor victims. HSI agents have confirmed this finding with at least two of his alleged victims.
“All children have an absolute right to grow up free from the fear of sexual abuse and exploitation, and especially from those they trust” said Brian M. Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge of the ICE HSI in Ohio and Michigan. “Sadly, today’s technology in the hands of a predator with access to children has put our children at greater risk than ever before. Despite the odds, HSI special agents and our ICAC (Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force) partners to protect our kids and brings their abusers to justice.”
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/.
This investigation was also a part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com
Weiner is scheduled to appear before United States Magistrate Judge Terence P. Kemp on March 28, 2011 at 10:30 a.m. for a preliminary and detention hearing. He will remain in custody pending that court appearance.
Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by ICE agents and Franklin County task force officers and deputies, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Hunter, who is prosecuting the case.
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