COLUMBUS, Ohio — A Michigan man is in custody after arranging a sexual encounter with an undercover officer posing as the father of two underage girls. The arrest follows a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC).
Herman H. Kamphuis, 43, of Cedar Springs, Mich., is in federal custody, charged with attempted sexual exploitation of a minor for unlawful sexual activity, after he traveled from his home to Columbus, Ohio, to have sex with two pre-teen girls.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of HSI Michigan and Ohio, Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, and the Franklin County ICAC announced the charge today following Kamphuis' initial appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Terence P. Kemp, who ordered Kamphuis held without bond.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, an undercover investigator patrolling the Internet on Feb. 2 was contacted in a chat room by Kamphuis. The investigator was posing as the father of two pre-teen girls. Kamphuis allegedly quickly turned the chat sexual.
The two continued to exchange messages until March 7 when they arranged to meet on March 9. When Kamphuis arrived for the meeting, task force officers arrested him.
Attempted sexual exploitation of children is punishable by at least 10 years and up to life in prison.
Stewart commended the investigation by task force officers, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill, who is prosecuting the case.
As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form. 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.