The Police NewsBayonet Point, Florida
Four Men Sentenced for Engaging in a Child Exploitation Enterprise
Four men were sentenced for their participation in a website dedicated to child sexual exploitation.
Kyle William Leishear, 43, of Bayonet Point, Florida, was sentenced yesterday to 20 years in prison. On April 25, Leishear’s three co-defendants were sentenced for their roles in a child exploitation enterprise: Christopher William Kuehner, 38, of Bremerton, Washington, was sentenced to 20 years in prison; Jacob Royce Mullins, 20, of South Webster, Ohio, was sentenced to seven years in prison; and Matthew Martin, 25, of Lancaster, Wisconsin, was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison.
“We cannot and will not tolerate websites like Rapey.su that invite and encourage members to congregate, discuss, and engage in the sexual exploitation of children and young women, to memorialize this exploitation, and to distribute illegal sexually explicit images of the victims,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to rooting out these websites and bringing to justice those who join them for the purpose of perpetuating the victimization of some of the most vulnerable members of society.”
According to court documents, Leishear, Kuehner, Mullins, and Martin were prominent members of the “Rapey.su” website, which was dedicated to, among other things, child sexual exploitation. After becoming a member of the website, Leishear enticed multiple minor victims, including one as young 12-years-old, to produce and share sexually explicit images. Kuehner also repeatedly induced minor victims to produce and post sexually explicit images and videos to the site. Additionally, Leishear attempted to distribute child sexual abuse material on the website. Mullins and Martin both repeatedly distributed child sexual abuse material images on the website, and Mullins enticed another website user to produce and share sexually explicit images of a minor victim.
“I am grateful for the hard work of our agents and prosecutors to seek justice in this horrific case. These defendants caused immeasurable trauma on their victims, amplified by the group’s online sharing of their abuse,” said U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This case shows that internet anonymity will not protect offenders from facing full accountability for their illegal online conduct.”
“The actions of the four individuals in this case were nothing short of reprehensible,” said Special Agent in Charge Derek W. Gordon of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Washington, D.C. “They shamefully targeted the most vulnerable members of our community for their own perverse desires. HSI Washington, D.C. remains committed to protecting children from abuse and holding accountable those individuals who would victimize minors. HSI remains vigilant in watching for indicators of child exploitation throughout our communities.”
HSI investigated the case.
Trial Attorney Whitney Kramer of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Seth Schlessinger for the Eastern District of Virginia prosecuted the case.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
Project Safe Childhood