Breaking News Out Of Kentucky
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BREAKING News Out Of KENTUCKY
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A Louisville, Kentucky, man pleaded guilty before United States District Court Judge Joseph H. McKinley Jr. this week, to attempted enticement of a minor, three counts of distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography, announced United States Attorney Russell M. Coleman.
Jeffrey Shawn Baunach, 46, was indicted on the charges on May 24, 2018.
According to a factual basis of the allegations presented to the Court, Baunach told an undercover agent, authorized and working for the Kentucky Attorney General, that he had been engaging his minor children in sex acts. Baunach also stated that he had met other adults to allow them to engage the children in sex acts. He requested to engage a child entrusted to the undercover agent in sex acts in exchange for sexual contact with his own children and discussed meeting to do so.
On February 8, 2018, a Kentucky Circuit Court Judge authorized issuance of a Search Warrant for Baunach, his van, and residence on Clarmar Road. Law enforcement officials executed the warrant the following day. Several items of potential evidence were also recovered from the residence including six phones, two computers, and one thumb drive. All items were logged and transported to the DCI Cyber Crimes Lab in Frankfort, Kentucky, for further examination.
A forensic examination of a cellular telephone, recovered from Baunach’s bedroom during the search of his home revealed it as the device that had been used during the communications with the undercover agent. The device also contained an image that had been previously sent by Baunach to the undercover agent. The examination also revealed several images of child pornography, that is, images of minors, engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Ten images depict infants (both male and female). The babies’ genitals are nude and fully displayed.
Three of the images reflect connection to Craigslist and two of the four indicate they were acquired through Yahoo mail. Four additional images depict the sexual abuse of a young girl (approximately age six – eight). All of the above-referenced images were saved as screen shots to the memory of the device on several dates between August 21, 2017, and January 24, 2018.
The investigator also observed several email conversations between Baunach and unknown parties involving discussions about sex with children. Further investigation led to a law enforcement official in Chicago, Illinois. The Google search warrant materials – confirmed with the Chicago law enforcement official – showed that Baunach had distributed the infant child pornography images to an individual in the Chicago area.
During the email communications, Baunach claimed to have access to the babies because he babysat them. The emails also referenced telephone conversations between the two men – Baunach and the Chicago man – concerning the sexual abuse of children.
Baunach faces a minimum 10 year term of imprisonment and no more than life for the charge of attempted enticement, followed by no less than 5 years of supervised release and no more than life of supervised release. The charges of distribution of child porn carry a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 5 years and no more than 20 years (on each count), and he faces no more than 20 years for distribution of child porn.
Assistant United States Attorney Jo E. Lawless is prosecuting the case. The Kentucky Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crime Unit conducted the investigation with assistance from the Jeffersontown (Kentucky) Police Department.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.
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