KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Danish man was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday for extortion and producing child pornography. The charges resulted from an investigation conducted by the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff's Department and the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.
Kai Lundstroem Pedersen, 60, of Randers, Denmark, was charged in an eight-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury Sept. 29 in Kansas City. This indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed against Pedersen on Sept. 3, and adds an additional victim and additional charges. Pedersen remains in federal custody following his arrest in New York on Sept. 3, awaiting transfer to Kansas City.
Pedersen is charged with one count of producing and one count of attempting to produce child pornography, four counts of transporting child pornography over the Internet and two counts of extortion. Pedersen allegedly used a minor, identified as "Jane Doe #1," to produce child pornography between July 1 and July 13. Pedersen allegedly attempted to use another minor, identified as "Jane Doe #2," to produce child pornography between Aug. 12 and Aug. 13. Pedersen is also charged with extortion for allegedly threatening both victims.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Pedersen initially contacted an 11-year-old Missouri girl in an online chat in July. During that chat, Pedersen, using an online alias, allegedly told her to activate her webcam and take off her clothes, which she did. She deactivated her webcam and ended the conversation, the affidavit says, when Pedersen activated his own webcam.
In the following days, the affidavit says, she 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 the victim's Facebook account, the affidavit alleges, describing how many times the photos and video 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 the victim 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 says.
The victim's mother contacted law enforcement authorities on Aug. 13. The mother told an officer that she learned of the contact with Pedersen after receiving Facebook messages that contained nude images of her daughter.
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, N.Y. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) records indicate that Pedersen entered the United States on a Danish passport on Aug. 23.
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.