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Child Exploitation

Michigan man sentenced to more than 12 years for child exploitation

COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Cedar Springs, Mich., man was sentenced Thursday to 145 months in federal prison for traveling from his home to Columbus, Ohio, to have sex with whom he believed to be two pre-teens girls. The sentence follows an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Brian M. Moskowitz, special agent in charge of ICE HSI in Michigan and Ohio, Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, and the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) announced the sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.

According to court documents, an undercover investigator patrolling the Internet on February 2, 2012 was contacted in a chat room by Kamphuis. The investigator was posing as the father of two pre-teen girls. Kamphuis 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. Kamphuis had with him a computer containing hundreds of images and movies of child pornography, which he had discussed watching with the two minor girls. Kamphuis has been in custody since his arrest.

Kamphuis pleaded guilty May 3, 2012 to one count of coercion and enticement of a minor.

"The court also recommended that Kamphuis be placed in a sex offender treatment program," Stewart said. "After his release, Kamphuis will be under court supervision for 15 years as a way to ensure community safety."

Stewart commended the investigation by task force officers, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill, who prosecuted the case.

"This significant sentence cannot repair the permanent damage done to the victimized children depicted in these images," said Moskowitz. "However, our work clearly prevented this individual from pursuing his real intentions of encountering children in person. HSI will continue to vigorously investigate child exploitation cases like this one and ensure that agents remain a barrier between predators and children."

This investigation was part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI 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. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE 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, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.