Sean Keener, 27, of Warwick, R.I., was sentenced this week to 286 months in federal prison for exploiting a 7-year-old child by producing and distributing pornographic images and videos of the child, some of which were posted on a Russian file-sharing web site, announced United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Bruce M. Foucart, special agent in charge of Homeland Security (HSI) Investigations for New England; and Warwick Police Chief Colonel Stephen M. McCartney.
At sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., also ordered Keener to serve lifetime supervised release upon completion of his prison term. Keener pleaded guilty on March 24, 2014, to an indictment charging him with one count each of production, possession and distribution of child pornography. No plea agreement was filed in this case.
In June 2013, HSI agents in Boston seized digital storage drives which contained photographs depicting child pornography, including sexually explicit photographs of a 7-year-old girl from Rhode Island. HSI agents also discovered an email address later linked to Sean Keener and to a folder he created on a Russian file-sharing website which contained numerous pictures of the same child. With the assistance of the Warwick Police Department, both Keener and the girl depicted in the photographs were identified as residents of Rhode Island.
A court authorized search by HSI agents and Warwick Police of a residence where Keener was staying resulted in the seizure of two computers and two cell phones belonging to Keener which contained more than 5,100 images and 586 videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha commented, “There are some cases that leave one almost speechless. This is just such a case. That a person entrusted with the care of a child, with no higher responsibility than to protect that child from harm, would instead victimize her in such a horrific way, is just reprehensible. Today’s long prison sentence is entirely deserved, yet no jail sentence, however long, can restore what this child has lost.”
“Crimes against children are some of the most heinous we encounter,” said Bruce Foucart, special agent in charge of HSI Boston. “I sincerely hope this sentencing serves as a first step in the recover process for the victim. Fortunately, as a result of our collaboration with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, this child predator can no longer victimize innocent children.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.