South Florida Man Who Engaged in “Sextortion” Sentenced to 139 Years in Prison
After having been convicted at trial of producing child pornography, a Miami-Dade County resident was sentenced today to 139 years in prison, to be followed by a lifetime of supervised release by U.S. District Court Chief Judge K. Michael Moore.
U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer for the Southern District of Florida and Special Agent in Charge George Piro for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Miami Field Office made the announcement.
Patrick Killen Jr., 22, of Hialeah, Florida, was convicted on July 13, 2015, by a Miami jury of 15 federal charges, including: three counts of production of child pornography; two counts of distribution of child pornography; four counts of receipt of child pornography; four counts of possession of child pornography; and two counts of transmission of interstate threats. Killen was acquitted of destruction of evidence.
According to the court records and trial testimony, beginning at least as early as November of 2012, Killen created fraudulent social media accounts using assumed identities of teenage girls. Killen stole photographs of minor females from Facebook, Instagram and other sources that he used in support of his falsified accounts. Using the assumed female identities, Killen would search social media websites and engage teenage boys, generally between 11 and 14 years of age, in conversation using internet chat applications such as Kik, Skype and Omegle. Over the course of these conversations, some of which lasted hours and others months, Killen falsely presented himself as teenage girls. Killen would beg, bribe and cajole the unsuspecting boys to send him sexually explicit pictures of themselves. In response to Killen’s fraudulent representations, hundreds of teenage boys sent Killen sexually explicit photographs and videos identified as child pornography. When many of these young boys expressed reticence in sending additional sexually explicit photographs, Killen would blackmail them by threatening to post the previously provided material on Instagram and other social media sites. Killen collected, catalogued and traded the child pornography photographs and videos with other individuals around the world using peer-to-peer file sharing programs. Killen produced, possessed, distributed and received thousands of images and video of children engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
“The lengthy sentence handed down today sends a message to those who use the Internet to target and extort children through sexual exploitation ‘sextortion’ and pornographic offenses,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “We implore the community to protect our children by being vigilant and reporting all suspected offenses to law enforcement.”
“The conduct of Patrick Killen Jr., is as appalling as it is inexcusable,” said Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro. “Taking the identities of minor females online, Killen would persuade teenage boys to send him sexually explicit photographs of themselves which Killen later used to extort these teenage boys. Known as sextortion, online predators use this type of behavior to produce child pornography and take advantage of children through terror and manipulation. The FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force aggressively investigates allegations of sextortion and other online offenses against children.”
U.S. Attorney Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI and Norwood New Jersey Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robb Emery and Ben Widlanski.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.