U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge Appoints Donald Daniels As Election Officer For The Western District Of Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN — Dennis Scott Kent, 54, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced to 180 months (15 years) in federal prison for possessing child pornography, U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge announced. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Paul L. Maloney imposed a ten-year term of supervised release that will commence once Kent is released from imprisonment. Kent will also be required to register as a sexual offender.
Kent pled guilty on October 23, 2017, to possessing child pornography. He came to the attention of law enforcement in February 2017, after his landlord discovered child pornography while evicting Kent from an apartment. Police subsequently discovered a significant collection of child pornography while searching Kent’s computer. The material depicted young children engaged in sex acts, as well as prepubescent children being bound and gagged. Further investigation revealed that Kent had a prior conviction for Criminal Sexual Conduct – Third Degree. The conduct underlying that conviction spanned years and involved a vulnerable minor victim. The defendant was released from prison in 2003, but he violated his parole in 2004 by committing another predatory offense.
At sentencing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office stressed the need to protect the public from Kent. In its sentencing memorandum, the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote: "The possession of child pornography is a very serious offense in any case, and it is all-the-more serious in this case given the defendant’s history. The possession, receipt, transportation, and distribution of child pornography perpetuates the harm to the victims depicted in images, validates and normalizes the sexual exploitation of children, and fuels a market, thereby leading to further production of images."
This case is part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. The U.S. Attorney's Office, county prosecutor's offices, the Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC), federal, state, and local law enforcement are working closely together to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children. The partners in Project Safe Childhood work to educate local communities about the dangers of online child exploitation, and to teach children how to protect themselves. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit the following web site: www.projectsafechildhood.gov. Individuals with information or concerns about possible child exploitation should contact local law enforcement officials.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, and Michigan State Police Computer Crimes Unit investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean M. Lewis prosecuted the case.