A Burke County man faces decades in prison after admitting he coerced a child to produce sexually explicit images.
Keyshawn Omar Cooper, 20, of Waynesboro, pleaded guilty to production of child pornography, according to a Wednesday, Nov. 16 news release from U.S. Attorney David H. Estes of the Southern District of Georgia. The plea subjects Cooper to a statutory penalty of up to 30 years in prison in addition to restitution, financial penalties, and a minimum of five years on supervised release as well as registration as a sex offender.
“Keyshawn Cooper’s crime represents the nightmare scenario for parents whose children connect over the internet with predatory strangers,” Estes wrote in his news release. “Thanks to the vigilance of one of those parents and diligent law enforcement partners, Cooper will be held accountable for his reprehensible activities.”
As described in court, Cooper admitted that around May 9, 2021, he communicated via an internet application with a child in Missouri and persuaded the victim to creating images for Cooper of the child engage in sexually explicit conduct. The child’s mother discovered the activity and reported it to police in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The FBI assisted by identifying and locating Cooper.
The investigation determined that the child and Cooper met online while playing a video game.
“The FBI has unfortunately seen an increasing amount of sextortion crimes across the country over the past year and we want this plea to send a message that we make crimes targeting children a top priority”, said Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Let this be a reminder to parents and caregivers, people can pretend to be anyone online, and you need to remain vigilant with monitoring your child’s online activity and educating them about the risks of communicating with strangers.”
Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678, or https://report.cybertip.org/.