U.S. Attorney Announces Child Porn Indictments

Kat Khan
ST. LOUIS, Mo. — U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway has announced one guilty plea and four indictments for making and transporting child pornography in Missouri, saying child porn is a growing problem in the state as the illegal material increasingly is shared via the Internet.

The announcement came after Missouri resident Kenneth Johnson pleaded guilty to two felony counts of child porn production, one felony count of child porn transportation and one felony count of child porn possession. Prosecutors contended that Johnson emailed lurid pictures of young children from his personal laptop computer, making his own porn images of two girls, ages 7 and 12, using a store-bought video camera, according to court documents.

Four Missouri men also were indicted for the same offenses, including Salvatore Fazio, Christopher Johnson, Kevin Otterson and Kelly Wilson.

Johnson was incarcerated this week and is awaiting sentencing, Hanaway said. She added that the penalty for transporting child pornography requires a minimum of five years in prison while producing it requires a minimum prison sentence of 15 years.

Hanaway said her office, located in Missouri’s eastern district, handled 25 child pornography cases this year, up from 18 cases in 2004. She added that while federal law does adequately prosecute offenders, parents need to more carefully monitor which Internet sites their children visit and with whom they "chat" online.

“We need to increase awareness because we have so many victims of these crimes,” she said.