Burke County, Ga., man awaits sentencing after admitting he coerced a child into producing child pornography
Defendant faces possible 30-year prison term
AUGUSTA, GA: A Burke County man faces decades in prison after admitting he coerced a child to produce sexually explicit images.
Keyshawn Omar Cooper, 20, of Waynesboro, Ga., awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to Production of Child Pornography, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. The plea subjects Cooper to a statutory penalty of up to 30 years in prison, along with payment of restitution and substantial financial penalties, followed by a minimum of five years of supervised release and registration as a sex offender after completion of his prison term.
There is no parole in the federal system.
“Keyshawn Cooper’s crime represents the nightmare scenario for parents whose children connect over the internet with predatory strangers,” said U.S. Attorney Estes. “Thanks to the vigilance of one of those parents and diligent law enforcement partners, Cooper will be held accountable for his reprehensible activities.”
As described in court, Cooper admitted that around May 9, 2021, he communicated via an internet application with a child in Missouri, and persuaded the victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating visual depictions that the victim then sent to Cooper. The child’s mother discovered the activity and reported it to police in Cape Girardeau, Mo., who enlisted the assistance of the FBI in identifying and locating Cooper.
The investigation determined that the child and Cooper met online while playing a video game.
“The FBI has unfortunately seen an increasing amount of sextortion crimes across the country over the past year and we want this plea to send a message that we make crimes targeting children a top priority”, said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Let this be a reminder to parents and caregivers, people can pretend to be anyone online, and you need to remain vigilant with monitoring your child’s online activity and educating them about the risks of communicating with strangers.”
The case was investigated by the Cape Girardeau, Mo., Police Department and the FBI, and prosecuted for the United States by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeremiah L. Johnson.
Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678, or https://report.cybertip.org/.