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Press Release

Law Enforcement Intervenes to Prevent Thirty Nine-Year Old Nebraska Man From Having Sex With an Iowa Thirteen-Year Old

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Sentenced to Over a Decade in Federal Prison for Attempting to Solicit Sex From a Minor

A Nebraska man who attempted to entice a thirteen-year old for explicit sexual conduct was sentenced today to more than 10 years in federal prison.  In addition, the man, who had a prior conviction for domestic assault and stalking, illegally possessed ammunition.

Jeremy Kozak, age 39, from Columbus, Nebraska, received the prison term after pleading guilty to one count of attempted enticement of a minor and one count of possession of ammunition by a person previously convicted of domestic abuse.

In a plea agreement, Kozak admitted he used the username “Boredguy4girls” online to communicate with an underage victim he knew to be only thirteen-years old.  Law enforcement became aware of Kozak’s sexually explicit communications with the victim and took over the victim’s account in an undercover capacity.  Believing he was still communicating with a thirteen-year old, Kozak made plans to drive the three hours from Nebraska to Iowa, to meet the thirteen-year old victim at a local park and engage in sexual activity.  Kozak directed the thirteen-year old victim what to wear and when to leave home to meet him.  On August 12, 2019, Kozak arrived at the park and after seeing a decoy dressed in the agreed upon attire, Kozak drove towards the decoy but was apprehended by law enforcement.  Inside Kozak’s vehicle officers found a box of condoms, and shotgun ammunition that was illegal for Kozak to possess, because he had been previously convicted of domestic abuse. 

Kozak was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Chief Judge Leonard T. Strand.  He was sentenced to 128 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a 5-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.

“As children are spending more and more time online due to COVID-19, we all need to do our part to keep them safe,” said U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan. “Child predators like Jeremy Kozak will use this time to try to manipulate kids into having sex or posing for sexually explicit photos. Parents and loved ones can help protect children by monitoring their computer and cell phone use and teaching them about the risks of communicating online with someone they don’t know.”  U.S. Attorney Deegan also acknowledged the great work of Iowa’s law enforcement in bringing Kozak to justice.  “Thanks to the outstanding investigative work of the Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the cooperation of the Buena Vista County Attorney’s Office, a child predator was stopped.  We can all be proud of Iowa’s state and local law enforcement and their dedication to protecting children.”

Paul Allen, Buena Vista County Attorney stated, “This case represents what can be achieved when state and federal prosecutors and law enforcement work collectively to hold dangerous individuals accountable.”

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Darrell Simmons added, “Today I would like to recognize the outstanding team work and professionalism of Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) Special Agent Matthew Burns and Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. Joey Speers for their dedication and hard work on this important investigation.  Throughout the investigation, Mr. Kozak made numerous contacts with the minor and the ‘undercover officer’ eliciting inappropriate sexual acts and photographs of the 13-year old.  I have no doubt that if not for the intervention of Law Enforcement, not only would this 13-year old child have been victimized, other children would have been at risk from Mr. Kozak’s tactics.”

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.”  The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mikala Steenholdt with the assistance of the Buena Vista County Attorney; and investigated by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations and Buena Vista County Sheriff’s Office. 

Court file information at https://ecf.iand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl

The case file number is 20-4022.  Follow us on Twitter @USAO_NDIA.

Updated September 10, 2020

Topic
Project Safe Childhood