Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to 'Sex Tourism,' Victimized Five Filipino Children
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a prior sex offender pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually abusing five separate child victims in the Philippines.
Kenneth Gaylord Stokes, 70, a U.S. citizen who resided near the city of Cebu in the Philippines, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to five counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places.
Stokes has been in federal custody since his arrest on Dec. 3, 2012 and is being held without bond. Stokes has a prior conviction for the statutory rape of a 7-year-old child in the state of Washington.
In July 2012, a federal agent located a Craigslist advertisement from Stokes that offered photography services in the Philippines. Stokes and the agent communicated via e-mail for several months, during which time Stokes e-mailed to the agent photos of juvenile females, some of whom were in sexually explicit poses. The agent expressed his interest in meeting Stokes, who encouraged the agent to visit and indicated that he would help facilitate sexual liaisons.
On Dec. 3, 2012 the agent met Stokes at his residence in the Philippines. Stokes, who showed the agent a laptop computer with multiple images of child pornography, was arrested.
Investigators seized Stokes’ computers and conducted a forensic examination. They were able to determine the identities of five minor females (identified as Jane Doe #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5) who later told law enforcement officers that Stokes paid them to pose for the sexually explicit photos.
Under federal statutes, Stokes is subject to a sentence of up to 60 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000, on each of the five counts. 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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).