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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Liverpool Man And Syracuse Woman Indicted For Sexual Exploitation Of Three Children Under The Age Of Five

The 28 Count Indictment Also Charges Defendants with Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit a Child as well as Distribution and Possession of Child Pornography

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Jason Kopp, 40, of Liverpool, New York and Emily Oberst, 23, of Syracuse, New York were indicted for conspiracy to sexually exploit a child, sexual exploitation of a child, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Andrew W. Vale, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The 28 count indictment charges Kopp and Oberst with one count of conspiracy to sexually exploit a female born in 2014 and two counts of sexual exploitation of that child. The indictment also charges Kopp, individually, with eight counts of sexual exploitation of children, nine counts of distribution of child pornography, and two counts of possession of child pornography. Kopp is accused of producing and distributing images depicting a female born in 2014 and a male born in 2013. As for Oberst, the indictment charges her, individually, with two counts of sexual exploitation of children and four counts of distribution of child pornography. Oberst is accused of producing and distributing images depicting a female born in 2014 and another female born in 2011.

Upon conviction, Kopp and Oberst would face a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years and a maximum sentence of thirty years imprisonment, on the conspiracy charge as well as each count of sexual exploitation of a child. On each count of distribution of child pornography, if convicted, Kopp and Oberst are subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years and a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment. If convicted of possession of child pornography, Kopp would face a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment on each charge. In addition, all of the charges provide for a fine of up to $250,000, a term of supervised release of at least 5 years and up to life, and mandatory registration as a sex offender.

Kopp and Oberst were previously arrested pursuant to criminal complaints and arrest warrants filed on Saturday, March 19, 2016. On that day, Kopp and Oberst appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Baxter in Syracuse, New York and were detained without bail.

United States Attorney Hartunian said: "The indictment alleges criminal conduct that is unspeakable – the sexual exploitation and abuse of the most vulnerable members of our society, our very young children. We will seek to have the defendants held accountable to the fullest extent of the law. We commend the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the District of Columbia

Metropolitan Police Department-FBI Child Exploitation Task Force, and the New York State Police for the investigation which led to these charges, and appreciate the assistance of Onondaga County District Attorney William J. Fitzpatrick and his staff in pursuing justice for the victims and their families."

"Today's charges are the result of the combined efforts of several law enforcement agencies that are committed to ending the sexual exploitation of our most innocent citizens," said Special Agent in Charge Andrew W. Vale. "Our children deserve to be safe from alleged predators such as Kopp and Oberst, and the FBI will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to stop and ultimately prevent such evil acts."

The charges in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by FBI Albany Division (Syracuse Resident Agency), the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department-Federal Bureau of Investigation ("MPD-FBI") Child Exploitation Task Force (Washington Field Office), and the New York State Police and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lisa Fletcher and Robert Levine.

Launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice, Project Safe Childhood is 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 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: 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 31, 2016