PORTLAND, Ore. - A published children's author from Portland, Ore., appeared in federal court today after being indicted on multiple child pornography offenses, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Kevin Patrick Bath, 50, who writes under the name K.P. Bath, was arraigned on felony charges of distributing, transferring and receiving child pornography. The indictment also charges him with two counts of possessing child pornography. He pleaded not guilty to each count.
Bath came to the attention of ICE agents after an investigation revealed he actively traded child pornography with individuals living in Washington and Ohio. A subsequent forensic examination of Bath's computer and data storage media revealed more than 100 video files and thousands of still images of child pornography. Many of the videos graphically depicted the sexual abuse of very young children.
"Some who traffic in child pornography falsely believe that the anonymity of cyberspace shields them from scrutiny," said Leigh Winchell, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations that oversees Oregon. "In fact, the Internet has given us new tools in our enforcement efforts to protect children. ICE will aggressively investigate and arrest those who engage in that type of activity."
"Images of children being sexually abused is not a victimless crime," stated U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut. "The children shown in these reprehensible images are victimized not only when the images are created, but every time the images are traded and viewed."
During today's court hearing, Bath was prohibited from having contact with children pending his trial, which is slated for June 9. Bath had served as a volunteer at a local children's library
This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide ICE initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders, and child sex traffickers. Since Operation Predator was launched in July 2003, ICE agents have arrested more than 11,000 individuals.
ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators.