Kenner Man Arrested for Receipt of Child Pornography
U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that STEVEN GAETA, age 41, of Kenner, was arrested by federal law enforcement authorities today for crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children.
According to court records, on February 27, 2015, GAETA was indicted by a federal grand jury as a result of a child exploitation investigation conducted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI”). According to records unsealed today, HSI agents executed a federal search warrant at GAETA’s residence after determining he was downloading images depicting the sexual victimization of children through the use of Peer to Peer file sharing software.
If convicted, GAETA faces a mandatory minimum penalty of five years and a maximum penalty of twenty years, followed by up to a lifetime term of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.
U. S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security-HSI in investigating this matter. Project Safe Childhood Coordinator and Fraud Unit Chief, Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian M. Klebba is in charge of the prosecution.