Syracuse Woman Charged With Additional Child Exploitation Offenses
Federal Grand Jury Returns Superseding Indictment Adding Ten New Charges
SYRACUSE, NEW YORK – Emily Oberst, 23, of Syracuse was charged yesterday with additional crimes relating to the sexual exploitation of minors, announced United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and FBI Resident Agent in Charge Andrew Vale of the FBI Albany Division. The 19 count superseding indictment returned yesterday replaces the March 2016 indictment and adds ten additional charges: Counts 2,3,4,5,6,8, and 9 allege additional conduct involving the sexual exploitation of a minor, and Counts 13, 14, and 15 allege additional conduct involving the distribution of child pornography. The superseding indictment alleges no new victims from the previous indictment.
As alleged in a previously filed criminal complaint, the investigation began on March 4, 2016 when a Task Force Officer assigned to the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department- Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force (Washington Field Office), acting in an undercover capacity, began texting with Oberst’s co-defendant Jason Kopp, who told the undercover officer that he had pictures of a female infant that had been sent to him by a woman acquaintance and distributed images of the infant to the officer. That woman is alleged to be Oberst. As a result of the ensuing investigation led by the FBI and New York State Police, Emily Oberst and Jason Kopp were arrested in March of 2016.
If convicted, Oberst faces a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years and a maximum sentence of thirty (30) years for each of the counts charging Conspiracy to Sexually Exploit Children (count 1) and Sexual Exploitation of a Child (counts 2 - 12). She also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five (5) years, and a maximum of twenty (20) years on each count charging her with Distribution of Child Pornography (counts 13 - 19). Sentences of imprisonment may be concurrent or consecutive at the discretion of the Court. The Court may also impose a fine of up to $250,000 per count, and must impose a term of supervised release of between five (5) years and life. If convicted, Oberst will also be required to register as a sex offender.
The charges are merely accusations and Oberst is presumed innocent. Her trial is currently scheduled for August 8, 2016.
Jason Kopp is not named in the superseding indictment because he pled guilty earlier this month to all twenty-two counts in the original indictment. His sentencing is scheduled for September 14, 2016 before Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby in United States District Court.
This case is being investigated by the Albany Division of the FBI (Syracuse Resident Agency), the New York State Police and the Metropolitan Police Department-Federal Bureau of Investigation Child Exploitation Task Force (Washington Field Office), 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.