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Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Charges Rochester Man With Sex Trafficking, Enticement, And Possession Of Child Pornography In Superseding Indictment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of New York

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE: (716) 843-5817
FAX #: (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that a federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging Peter R. Kiwitt, 62, of Rochester, NY, with sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking by coercion, sexual enticement of a minor, and possession of child pornography.  The superseding indictment also alleges that the defendant, as a registered sex offender, faces enhanced penalties in the event he is convicted of certain of the crimes with which he is charged. The charges carry a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Marangola, who is handling the case, stated that according to the superseding indictment and a previously filed complaint, on December 10, 2018, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office stopped a vehicle being driven by defendant. Also in the vehicle were two females, Adult Victim 1 (AV1) and Minor Victim 1 (MV1). The three were questioned regarding drug related activity but were released and eventually followed to a room at a motel in Penfield, NY. Officers went to the room and knocked on the door. Kiwitt indicated that he was dating AV1 but knew her to be a prostitute who belonged to another pimp known to law enforcement.  He denied any involvement in prostitution at that time. Officers did not make any arrests at the time.

On January 23, 2019, Rochester Police Department officers responded to a residence in the City of Rochester for the report of a fatal overdose involving MV1. The owner of the apartment found MV1 deceased on his living room floor and called 911. He told officers he met MV1 through AV1, and that the night before, he brought MV1 back to his residence to engage in commercial sex acts with her.

Subsequent cell phone and Facebook searches uncovered conversations between the defendant, AV1, and MV1 regarding prostitution activities. Investigators also uncovered naked photos, some of which depicted child pornography.

In June 2017, Kiwitt was convicted in Monroe County, NY, of Possession of a Sexual Performance by a Child, and sentenced to serve 10 years’ probation, and designated as a Level 1 Sex Offender.

The defendant was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark W. Pedersen and was detained.

The superseding indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Stephen Belongia, and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, under the direction of Sheriff Todd Baxter.

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Updated February 2, 2021

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