News and Press Releases

Defendant’s Lap Top Computer Seized at Sea-Tac Airport Upon Return from Overseas

February 19, 2010

JOSHUA OSMUN KENNEDY, 33, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to five years in prison and 15 years of supervised release for Possession of Child Pornography and Transportation of Child Pornography. KENNEDY was convicted August 27, 2009, following a jury trial. On November 9, 2007, KENNEDY’s lap top computer was seized at Sea-Tac airport when a customs agent noticed what appeared to be child pornography on the computer. At sentencing U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones said, “The people who produce child pornography tailor their production to the market.... With no market, there is no industry. You and your fraternity of people who possess and transport child pornography keep this industry alive. ”

According to testimony at trial and records in the case, a forensic analysis of KENNEDY’s computer revealed that he had repeatedly accessed and downloaded particularly horrific images of child pornography from a specific internet site. The analysis revealed that KENNEDY had downloaded 30 images from that website and hid them in a file on his hard drive that he called “taxes2003.” The forensic analysis also recovered over 5,000 images of child pornography from that website. Kennedy’s browsing history showed that he repeatedly spent time in the early morning or late at night accessing the website and visited it over forty times during the two years he owned the laptop. These sessions lasted from five to thirty-five minutes and dramatically increased in frequency before his seizure. The forensic analysis revealed that Kennedy had last accessed the website while on vacation in Panama, four days before his computer was seized. The evidence also showed that Kennedy had deliberately deleted his browser’s cache files several days before his return to the United States.

Following his conviction, KENNEDY agreed to participate in a sex offender evaluation to determine the likelihood that he could successfully be treated. Judge Jones recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that KENNEDY receive sex offender treatment and drug treatment while incarcerated and made both a condition of his supervised release. KENNEDY will be required to register as a sex offender.

In asking for a seven year prison sentence, Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham wrote to the court that defendants such as KENNEDY lead to additional victimization of children. “By seeking out child pornography, Defendant helped to create the demand for the horrifying cruelty to which these children were subjected. Images of child pornography are vehicles whereby a collector who does not have access to a child himself is able to repeatedly use the recorded sexual abuse of a child by another for his own sexual gratification,” Ms. Crisham wrote to the court.

The case was the result of hard work by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kate Crisham and Katheryn Frierson.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110 or Emily.Langlie@USDOJ.Gov.

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