SPOKANE, Wash. – A Benton man who previously pleaded guilty to producing child pornography was sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in federal prison, following a probe by the Southeast Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (SER-ICAC) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Robert Cody Cameron Genoway, 24, appeared before U.S. District Judge Stanley A. Bastian. In addition to the prison time, Judge Bastian ordered that Genoway be subject to a 30-year term of court supervision following his incarceration and that he be required to register as a sex offender.
According to information disclosed during court proceedings, in July 2016 investigators with the SER-ICAC and HSI observed an ad on a well-known website seeking a “petite young teeny bopper” for sexual acts. Investigators responded to the ad posing as a 13-year-old girl. During the course of the communications, Genoway described in graphic detail the manner in which he wished to have sexual intercourse with the purported minor, including choking the child for his own sexual pleasure. He also made multiple attempts to meet the purported child to commit the described sexual acts. Genoway communicated with the undercover investigator for a number of months via text message and email, despite the investigator advising that the purported 13-year-old was actually 11.
During an interview following his arrest, Genoway admitted he sought to meet the purported minor for the purpose of sexual intercourse. He also admitted engaging in sexual intercourse with another underage girl, and to producing pornographic images and videos depicting these acts. Genoway further described choking that minor during the course of his sexual interactions with her.
Through subsequent investigation, law enforcement officers located the minor victim and learned that Genoway began producing pornographic images of her when she was 13, and that he continued to engage in sexual acts with her for a three years. The images and videos of these encounters were among the child pornography found during a forensic examination of Genoway’s electronic devices. Law enforcement officials also learned that Genoway had distributed the child pornography and sought other adult males to have sexual intercourse with the minor victim.
During Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Judge Bastian stated that the acts perpetrated by Genoway were “very concerning because it indicates that you were forcible, violent, and dangerous in your sex [acts with the] 13-year-old victim.” Judge Bastian further characterized Genoway’s conduct as “egregious,” and advised that Genoway’s “interest in young girls was ongoing and ultimately…led to [Genoway’s] downfall in the undercover enticement investigation.”
This case was pursued as part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood and HSI’s Operation Predator, an international HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 16,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2016, more than 2,600 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 800 victims identified or rescued.
HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators. From outside the U.S. and Canada, callers should dial 802-872-6199. Hearing impaired users can call TTY 802-872-6196.
Led by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood and internet safety, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.
In addition to HSI and the SER-ICAC, the Grand Rapids Police Department also participated in this investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Laurel J. Holland with the Eastern District of Washington.