KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A south-central Kansas man pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to producing child pornography.
This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Augusta (Kan.) Police Department, and the Wichita Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children task force (ICAC).
Kristopher K. Sims, 30, of Augusta, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography. In his plea, Sims admitted that on Nov. 20, 2012, he made a recording, via the Internet, of a 12-year-old girl engaging in a sexual act. Sims was in Kansas and the girl was in New York. He used his computer and a video-chat service to engage in a video chat with her, which he recorded.
Sims first met the victim when she was 11-years-old via Facebook. He posed as a 15- or 16-year-old boy. Over a period of months, he communicated with her in chats and video messaging. He persuaded her to engage in sexual acts, which he captured on live video feeds from her computer.
Sentencing is set for June 2. Sims faces between 15 and 30 years in federal prison, and a fine up to $250,000.
This investigation was conducted under HSI's Operation Predator, an international initiative to protect children from sexual predators. Since the launch of Operation Predator in 2003, HSI has arrested more than 10,000 individuals for crimes against children, including producing and distributing online child pornography, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking children. In fiscal year 2013, more than 2,000 individuals were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative.
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. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.