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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 25, 2022

Amsterdam Woman Pleads Guilty to Sexually Exploiting a Minor

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Kristen Blair Hiltunen, age 37, of Amsterdam, New York, pled guilty today to sexual exploitation of a minor.  The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). 

Hiltunen admitted that between April 2021 and August 2021, she engaged in a sexual relationship with a minor victim who was under 16 years of age.  During this period of time, Hiltunen exchanged thousands of messages with the victim over a social media application through which she persuaded, induced and enticed the victim to take sexually explicit images and send them to Hiltunen.  Hiltunen further engaged in livestreamed video chats with the victim during which the victim engaged in sexual acts.

Hiltunen, who remains detained pending sentencing scheduled for January 5, 2023, faces at least 15 years and up to 30 years in prison.  The Court will also impose a term of supervised release of between 5 years and life, and Hiltunen will be required to register as a sex offender as a result of this conviction.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors. 

This case was investigated by the FBI and its Child Exploitation Task Force, which includes FBI Special Agents, and state and local police investigators, including members of the Rotterdam Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Rachel L. Williams as part of Project Safe Childhood.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is led by United States Attorney’s offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).  Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit https://www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 25, 2022