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Child Exploitation

Michigan man pleads guilty to child exploitation charges

DETROIT - A Michigan man plead guilty Monday to charges related to the sexual exploitation of children following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Steven Demink, 41, of Redford, Mich., was indicted by a federal grand jury in November on 13 counts related to the sexual exploitation of children, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Brian Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Detroit. The indictment alleged three counts each of conspiracy to sexually exploit children, aiding and abetting the sexual exploitation of children, online enticement and coercion, and receipt of child pornography. Each set of counts relates to Demink's online relationship with mothers of young children who sexually assaulted their children at Demink's behest.

According to the investigation, Demink used a fictitious persona of "Dalton St. Clair," a young, single father, to meet single mothers online and encourage, coerce, and entice the mothers to sexually assault their children. These mothers would then send images or provide live web camera access of the conduct to Demink.

Demink was also charged with possessing images of child pornography on his computer while at his home in Redford.

This case is a result of an ICE HSI investigation that has spanned from Idaho, to Florida, to Virginia and involved the arrest of four mothers, and the rescue of seven children.

"While bringing to justice those who sexually exploit children remains a high priority for HSI, rescuing children from these abusive situations is our immediate concern," said Special Agent in Charge Moskowitz. "We remain vigilant on behalf of those who cannot protect themselves."

"In child exploitation cases, our focus is on predators who are abusing children," said U.S. Attorney McQuade. "This case resulted in the rescue of seven children who were being sexually abused."

At sentencing, Demink faces 15 to 30 years on the conspiracy and aiding and abetting charges, 5-20 years on the receipt charges, and up to 10 years on the possession charge.

ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE. This hotline is staffed around the clock by investigators. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin M. Mulcahy and Hala Jarbou.