East Hampton Man Pleads Guilty to Using Computer to Entice Minors to Engage in Sexual Activity
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Patricia M. Ferrick, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that KEITH HAESSLY, 46, of East Hampton, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Victor A. Bolden in Bridgeport to using a computer to persuade minors to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
According to court documents and statements made in court, between approximately August 2013 and June 2015, HAESSLY, using video chat programs such as Skype and Omegle, posed as a young female and used previously-recorded videos of females to entice numerous boys to engage in sexual activity over webcams. HAESSLY then made recordings of the boys engaged in sexual activity, and distributed some of the images he recorded to an individual in Virginia.
To date, investigators have identified 48 individual victims. The effort to identify additional victims is ongoing.
HAESSLY has been detained since his arrest on June 3, 2015. At the time of his arrest, he was a member of the Connecticut Air National Guard.
HAESSLY pleaded guilty to one count of use of an interstate facility to persuade a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity, an offense that carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years, a maximum term of imprisonment of life and a fine of up to $250,000. A sentencing date is not yet scheduled.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Connecticut Child Exploitation Task Force, with the assistance of the Connecticut Air National Guard Office of Special Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ray Miller.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.