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Child Exploitation
01/31/2020

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Nebraska sex offender sentenced to 400 months for child pornography

OMAHA, Neb. — An eastern Nebraska man was sentenced in federal court Friday to 400 months in prison for receiving and possessing child pornography.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Jack Eugene Knight, 54, of Valley, Nebraska, was sentenced on two counts of receiving child pornography and two counts of possessing child pornography before U.S. District Court Judge Robert F. Rossiter, Jr. Knight was convicted of the offenses following a four-day jury trial in October 2019.

The evidence at trial established that a November 2017, CyberTip from the National Center for Missing and Exploiting Children (NCMEC) led HSI special agents to investigate Knight for committing federal child exploitation offenses. As part of the investigation, federal agents executed a search warrant Aug. 22, 2018, of Knight’s van, in which Knight was living at the time.

Agents seized two cellular telephones, one laptop, and multiple external storage devices. Knight admitted to collecting child pornography and told agents that child pornography would be located on the devices inside of his van. Knight also told agents that he had a storage unit in Lincoln, Nebraska, which contained more devices containing child pornography. Authorities traveled to Lincoln and collected three laptops from the defendant’s storage unit.

After conducting initial forensic examinations of some of Knight’s devices Sept. 24, 2018, Knight was arrested in Valley, Nebraska. At the time of the arrest, Knight had a new cellular phone that he obtained after the August 2018, search warrant. Knight admitted that additional child pornography would be located on this new cellular phone. Agents seized the new cellular phone for forensic analysis.

Among Knight’s laptops, cell phones, and external storage devices, law enforcement found more than 8,000 images of child pornography and 3,000 videos of child pornography. The images included children under the age of 12 and prepubescent minors engaging in sex acts. 

Knight has prior state convictions for:

  • attempted sexual assault of a child (1996 in Lancaster County, Nebraska),
  • third sexual Assault of a child (2013 in York County, Nebraska), and
  • possession with intent to distribute visual depiction of sexually explicit acts (2013 in York County, Nebraska).

Knight is a registered sex offender in the state of Nebraska. After completing his term of imprisonment, Knight will begin a lifetime term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

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 25,000 individuals for crimes against children, including the production and distribution of online child exploitation material, traveling overseas for sex with minors, and sex trafficking of children. In fiscal year 2019, more than 3,500 child predators were arrested by HSI special agents under this initiative and more than 1,000 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.

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.

For additional information about wanted suspected child predators, download HSI’s Operation Predator smartphone app or visit the online suspect alerts page. HSI is a founding member 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.

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Last Reviewed/Updated: 02/03/2020