KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Danish man accused of distributing child pornography was arrested in New York and charged in federal court here for transferring a video of a Missouri minor over the Internet. The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Kai Lundstroem Pedersen, 60, of Randers, Denmark, was charged in a federal criminal complaint that was filed under seal on Sept. 3. Pedersen, who was visiting the United States, was arrested on Sept. 3 in Stonybrook, N.Y. The criminal complaint, which was unsealed in the Western District of Missouri on Sept. 8, charges Pedersen with distributing child pornography after he transferred video of a St. Joseph, Mo., minor over the Internet. Pedersen remains in federal custody in New York and will be transported to Kansas City for a court appearance and detention hearing.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Pedersen initially contacted the 11-year-old minor, identified as "L.S.," in an online chat in mid or late July. During that chat, L.S. activated her webcam and took off all of her clothing. She deactivated her webcam and ended the conversation, the affidavit says, when Pedersen activated his own webcam.
In the following days, the affidavit says, L.S. received multiple emails from Pedersen asking her to get on webcam again. When she refused, Pedersen allegedly told her that he had recorded the webcam session and was going to upload it onto the Internet where other people could see it. He sent her a video clip and photos taken from the webcam session.
Pedersen sent messages to L.S.'s Facebook account, the affidavit alleges, describing how many times the photos and video of L.S. had already been downloaded by others, taunting her about how she may be recognized by others who had viewed the images, and threatening to continue to disseminate the images. Pedersen allegedly created several Facebook profiles and sent messages to L.S. using those profiles, purportedly from individuals claiming to have seen portions of the webcam video on the Internet. Some of those messages asked to have sexual activity with the victim, or threatened the victim with forcible sexual activity or other violence, the affidavit states.
The victim's mother contacted law enforcement authorities on Aug. 13. The mother told an officer that she learned of the contact between Pedersen and L.S. after receiving Facebook messages that contained nude images of her daughter.
The officer obtained L.S.'s login information and permission to utilize the victim's accounts in an undercover manner. According to the affidavit, the officer, posing as the minor victim, communicated online with Pedersen and learned that he was leaving on vacation Aug. 20. When Pedersen logged into his Facebook account on Aug. 25, the affidavit says, investigators were able to trace his IP address to a residence in Stonybrook. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records indicate that Pedersen entered the United States on a Danish passport on Aug. 23.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham, Western District of Missouri.
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 12,800 individuals.
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.
For more information, visit www.ice.gov.