BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Police charged a 52-year-old man with sexual exploitation of a minor after a multi-agency investigation.
The charge against Stephen Keating comes after an investigation by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Office of Field Operations in Savannah, CBP Air and Marine Operations in Jacksonville, Fla., the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations (ICE HSI), according to a release from U.S. Attorney Edward J. Tarver.
Keating was charged Friday in federal court. His detention hearing will take place Monday, November 19 before Federal Judge James E. Graham.
US Attorney Tarver said, "Child exploitation, often over the internet, has reached epidemic proportions. This disturbing development demands we act with the full force of the department and its many law enforcement partners. We will settle for nothing less than reducing incidents of child exploitation and bringing justice to those who would steal the innocence of our nation's children."
Brock D. Nicholson, special agent in charge of U.S. ICE HSI, said, "HSI will never relent in our efforts to identify and arrest child predators who terrorize and exploit the most vulnerable members of our community. These monsters living among us inflict the most unimaginable harm upon the innocent to satisfy their perverse desires, and we will continue to find them and bring them to justice."
Tarver said the charge against Keating is only an accusation and he is innocent until proven guilty.
The case against Keating was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a program whose goal is to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.
First Coast News