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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Former University Professor Pleads Guilty to Traveling to Missouri for Sex with a Minor

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former Ohio university professor pleaded guilty in federal court today to traveling to Kansas City, Mo., to engage in sexual activity with a person whom he believed to be a 14-year-old girl.

Kevin Connor Armitage, 53, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. Armitage was a professor of American studies at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

According to today’s plea agreement, Armitage maintained a profile on a website that allows registered members to exchange information regarding commercial sex activity. The website’s public posts contain detailed accounts of sexual encounters between members and commercial sex workers, including prices and specific locations for sexual encounters. Links to well-known sex trafficking websites were posted with reviews of sexual encounters. Members of the website are able to contact the posters by private message to obtain contact information for the commercial sex workers described in the posts.

Armitage was a senior member of the website, with 576 postings that detail his prior experiences with prostitutes in Ohio, Arizona, Kansas, Colorado, and Tijuana.

On May 22, 2018, an undercover federal agent responded to a discussion thread posted by Armitage. Armitage indicated that he would be visiting the Kansas City area and was interested in recommendations. Armitage was provided a phone number for a female FBI agent, who was posing as a 14-year-old female.

After several conversations, Armitage agreed to meet the 14-year-old’s cousin at a restaurant on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City on May 30, 2018, in order to discuss payment. Once he arrived at the restaurant, Armitage was told, he would be given the address where he could meet the 14-year-old. An FBI undercover employee, posing as the cousin, met Armitage at the restaurant and he was arrested.

Under federal statutes, Armitage is subject to a sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa A. Moore. It was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General and the FBI.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated May 1, 2019