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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Kansas Sex Offender Charged with Child Pornography

BOSTON – A previously convicted sex offender was arrested Friday, May 6, 2016 in Kansas in connection with distributing child pornography to a currently incarcerated federal inmate.

Christopher Saemisch, 58, was charged in a criminal complaint with one count of distribution of child pornography.  He was arrested on Friday while attending an event at a nudist retreat in McLouth, Kansas.  Saemisch was ordered detained during an initial hearing in U.S. District Court in Kansas yesterday afternoon.  He will appear in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on May 31, 2016.

According to the complaint, on March 30, 2016, federal agents received information regarding Saemisch from an inmate at FMC-Devens who has been incarcerated since 1997 for child exploitation offenses.  The inmate told agents that he had communicated with Saemisch, a registered sex offender living in Kansas City, who admitted to looking at and storing child pornography as well as his expressed interested in traveling to Europe to have sex with children.  The inmate allegedly knew Saemisch from when they were previously incarcerated at the same federal prison facility.

Agents reviewed the inmate’s communications with Saemisch, which included special coded language to discuss the collection and distribution of child pornography.  The inmate confirmed that they used the code word “antiques,” when referring to child pornography and the code word “puppies,” to refer to children.  Agents then initiated an undercover operation using the inmate to communicate with Saemisch.  During their monitored conversations on various messaging apps and web platforms, Saemisch helped the inmate set-up accounts to receive and exchange child pornography, and allegedly sent him child pornography he had stored on various file storage sites.  Saemisch was arrested on May 6, 2016 at Gaea Retreat Center in Kansas.

The charging statute provides for a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years and no greater than 40 years in prison, a minimum of five years and up to a lifetime of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties.  Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. 

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston; and Joe Norwood, Northeast Regional Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, made the announcement today.  Assistance was also provided by the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Kansas, as well as the Johnson County and Leavenworth County Sheriffs’ Departments in Kansas.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jordi de Llano of Ortiz’s Major Crimes Unit.

Members of the public who have questions, concerns or information related to this case, or any information relating to the sexual exploitation of children, should call (617) 748-3274.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is brought as part of Project Safe Childhood.  In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse.  Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the DOJ’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, as well as identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov/.      

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
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Updated May 10, 2016