Eagan Man Charged with Using Social Media to Create and Distribute Child Pornography of High-School Students
United States Attorney Andrew M. Luger today announced a federal criminal complaint charging ANTON MARTYNENKO, 32, with production, advertising, receipt and possession of child pornography. MARTYNENKO was arrested on November 20, 2015, and made an initial appearance yesterday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, Minn., before Magistrate Judge Janie S. Mayeron.
“The defendant in this case is charged with using social media to contact teenagers and convince them to create child pornography,” said U.S. Attorney Luger. “I urge teenagers and young adults to be particularly cautious and highly skeptical when encountering strangers online. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who seek to take advantage of and harm our youth over the internet. We will continue to do all we can to stop them.”
According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, beginning in at least 2011, ANTON MARTYNENKO created and used various false aliases including “Marie Anna,” “Courtney Jansgen,” and “Marie94mn,” on social media outlets for the purpose of obtaining nude and sexually explicit images and videos of minor males. MARTYENKO created different cover stories, including that he (posing as a woman) had recently moved to Minnesota and was trying to make new friends, that he worked for a nude modeling agency, or that he was a college student at the University of Minnesota. MARTYENKO would engage in sexual conversations with victims and eventually ask for nude images and/or video of the minor male victims.
According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, in approximately 2012, MARTYNENKO contacted a victim using the “Marie Anna” handle and claimed to be a woman who recently moved to Minnesota from Illinois who was looking to meet new people. MARTYENKO told the victim that he was handsome and quickly moved to suggesting they exchange nude photographs. MARTYENKO sent pictures to the victim of a nude female, which “Marie Anna” claimed were of herself. The victim then sent nude pictures of himself to “Marie Anna” via social media. MARTYENKO, still using the handle, “Marie Anna,” demanded more photos of the victim, but the victim stopped responding to the messages when he because suspicious of “Marie Anna.” MARTYENKO then threatened to distribute the victim’s nude photographs if the victim did not send more. About one year later, the victim learned that his pictures were being distributed via social media.
According to the criminal complaint and documents filed in court, on October 2, 2015, law enforcement executed a search warrant at MARTYENKO’s Eagan home. Officers discovered several flash drives and other electronic items hidden in the ceiling tiles of one room, along with a shoebox containing a collection of “commercial pornography” involving young men. Law enforcement seized thousands of images of naked teenagers and young men, which were sorted by name, age and hometown. Some photos also included the name of the high school of the victim portrayed.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI, Minneapolis Police Department and Rosemount Police Department.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carol M. Kayser.
ANTON MARTYNENKO, 32
- Production of child pornography, 2 counts
- Advertising child pornography, 1 count
- Receipt of child pornography, 3 counts
- Possession of child pornography, 1 count