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Press Release

Taylor Man Sentenced To 25 Years In Prison For Sexual Exploitation Of Minors

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan

DETROIT – A Taylor man was sentenced today to 25 years in federal prison on charges of sexual exploitation of children and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.

Ison was joined in the announcement by Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Kenneth Hartley, 53, was sentenced before United States District Judge Victoria Roberts.

During his plea hearing, Hartley admitted that in 2010 he pretended to be a teenage female on the Skype internet messaging platform and tricked a male minor born in 1995 into providing sexually explicit images of himself to Hartley. As part of his plea agreement, Hartley also acknowledged that he used the Kik social media application to obtain sexually explicit images of a 13-year-old male in 2014 and another 13-year-old male in 2015.  In all, Hartley victimized over 100 minors over the course of a decade until law enforcement executed a search warrant at his residence in December 2020. Agents identified 29 of those victims, 17 of those victims were minors under 12 years of age at the time Hartley exploited them. Hartley’s youngest victim was eight. Hartley was found responsible for possessing 46,153 images of child pornography for the purposes of sentencing guidelines. 

“This investigation and subsequent prosecution ended this offender’s decade-long sexual exploitation of children. This significant sentence demonstrates that those who seek to harm our children through online exploitation will be held responsible. We will continue to work to make the Internet a safer place for our children.” stated Dawn N. Ison, United States Attorney.

“In addition to possessing child pornography, Mr. Hartley actively created it for himself and others by exploiting vulnerable children around the world,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Detroit Division. “The FBI considers the investigation and prosecution of predators like this defendant to be of the highest priority. Today’s sentence serves as a warning to others like him the FBI will aggressively pursue anyone who victimizes and exploits children.”

The case was investigated by the Southeast Michigan Trafficking and Exploitation Crimes Task Force (“SEMTEC”) of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher Rawsthorne.

Updated July 13, 2022

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