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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, September 20, 2019

Rochester Man Charged With Sex Trafficking Of A Minor And Possession Of Child Pornography

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. announced today that Peter R. Kiwitt, 61, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking of a minor using force, fraud, and coercion, and possession of child pornography. 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 complaint, in June 2017, the defendant 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.

As alleged in the criminal complaint, on December 10, 2018, a vehicle the defendant was driving was pulled over by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Also in the vehicle were two females, Adult Victim 1 (AV1) and Minor Victim 1 (MV1). The three individuals were questioned about drug related activity but released and later 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.

The defendant made an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman and was detained. Kiwitt is due back in court on September 25, 2019, at 9:30 a.m.

The complaint is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, 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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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 20, 2019