German Citizen Sentenced To Life In Prison For Attempting To Engage A Minor In Sexual Activity
Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Paul G. Byron yesterday sentenced Meinrad Kopp (55), a German citizen and resident of Switzerland, to life in federal prison and a life term of supervision for attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. The Court also imposed a special assessment of $5,000, and ordered him to pay a fine of $250,000 and forfeit a cellphone, laptop computer, and camera that had been used to facilitate the offense.
Kopp entered a guilty plea on September 22, 2017.
According to court documents, from on or about April 26, 2017, to on or about June 16, 2017, Kopp engaged in communications via the Internet, with an undercover agent, about engaging a minor in a range of sadistic sexual activities. Kopp disclosed his intent to humiliate and inflict severe pain on the child for his sexual gratification by treating her like a dog and torturing her with certain instruments he intended to bring with him. According to Kopp, he previously had beaten an 11-year-old child using a leather belt.
On June 16, 2017, Kopp traveled to Orlando and was arrested by agents working with Homeland Security Investigations. Inside his luggage, Kopp had weights, clamps, rope, tape, a bottlebrush, and a flashlight that he intended to use with the minor. He had a digital camera that he intended to use to record the acts with the child. During an interview with agents, Kopp admitted that he had traveled to Orlando for the purpose of engaging a minor in sexual activity.
At sentencing, Judge Byron remarked that this was a heinous and atrocious crime, and noted that he could not imagine anything more extreme than hurting a child for an individual’s sexual gratification. He also noted that the sentence imposed was intended to deter sex tourism.
"Crimes against children are some of the most loathsome our HSI special agents investigate," said HSI Tampa Special Agent in Charge James C. Spero. "This case should serve as warning to other child predators. We will find you, arrest you and make sure that you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ilianys Rivera Miranda.
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 United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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.justice.gov/psc.