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Child Exploitation

Danish man pleads guilty to extortion and producing child pornography

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Danish man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to extortion, and producing and transporting child pornography.

This guilty plea resulted from an investigation conducted by the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Buchanan County, Mo., Sheriff's Department, and the Department of Justice's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

Kai Lundstroem Pedersen, 61, of Randers, Denmark, pleaded guilty in the Western District of Missouri to the charges contained in a Sept. 29, 2010 federal indictment.

In July 2010, Pedersen engaged in an online chat from his home in Denmark, via webcam, with an 11-year-old girl in Buchanan County, Mo., identified as Jane Doe #1. Pedersen admitted to using her to engage in sexually explicit conduct that he recorded and saved as a digital video on his computer. This video, as well as the still images made from the video, were later edited and distributed to others, including family and friends of the victim.

Pedersen contacted Jane Doe #1 using various aliases through email and chat programs from July to September 2010, threatening her and attempting to have her engage in sexually explicit conduct. As an example, on Aug. 15, 2010, Pedersen used six different aliases on Facebook to contact Jane Doe #1, relaying rape and murder fantasies, and asserting that these various individuals had watched her video, describing the various sexual acts they wanted to perform on her.

In August 2010, Pedersen initiated contact with another minor female in rural Missouri whom he believed to be a close friend of Jane Doe #1. Pedersen contacted this victim, identified as Jane Doe #2, to try to exert pressure to have either Jane Doe #1 or Jane Doe #2 perform sexually explicit conduct for him via video web-chatting.

Pedersen was arrested when he traveled from Denmark to the United States last year. On Aug. 13, 2010, Jane Doe #1's mother contacted law enforcement authorities. The mother told an officer that she learned of the contact with Pedersen after receiving Facebook messages that contained nude images of her daughter. 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, investigators traced his IP address to a residence in Stony Brook, N.Y.

Under the terms of the binding plea agreement, the government and Pedersen jointly recommended to the court a sentence of at least 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the U.S. Probation Office completes a presentence investigation.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Daly and Trial Attorney Keith Becker of the Department of Justice Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

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. ICE encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE. 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.