Repeat and Dangerous Sex Offender Sentenced to 20 Years in Federal Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 04, 2013|
ORLANDO—U.S. District Judge Roy B. Dalton, Jr. sentenced Nicholas Knittig (30, Kansas) today to 20 years’ imprisonment for attempted sexual enticement of a minor and 10 years’ imprisonment for transfer of obscene material to minors. The sentences were ordered to be served concurrently, followed by a lifetime of supervised release. Knittig was indicted on August 8, 2012. He pleaded guilty on October 31, 2012. As a previously convicted sex offender, Knittig was classified as a repeat and dangerous sex offender against minors.
According to court documents, only two months after serving a five-year term of supervised release from a previous conviction, Knittig communicated over the Internet with an undercover agent in a St. Johns County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office operation. During the conversation, Knittig reiterated his desire to have sex with children and requested pictures of them. In May 2012, Knittig became the subject of an FBI investigation in Orlando. During that investigation, he continually explained the sexual acts, in graphic detail, that he would perform on children. On June 19, 2012, Knittig spoke with both an FBI undercover (UC) and a second agent who portrayed the UC’s 13 year-old child. Knittig stated his plans to come and visit the UC and the UC’s children during the coming weekend. At the end of the conversation, Knittig told the UC that he would send a picture for the UC to show the UC’s 13-year-old daughter. Subsequently, the UC received an e-mail from Knittig that included a JPEG image of Knittig’s genitalia. In a subsequent investigation conducted by the Alachua (Florida) Police Department, Knittig e-mailed a picture of his genitalia to a UC and another agent posing as a child. During his conversation with the presumed child, Knittig told the UC to make sure that her stepfather showed her the picture.
On or about August 22, 2012, a search warrant was executed at Knittig’s residence in Kansas. A forensic examination of the computer revealed that it contained 96 videos and 326 images of child pornography. The videos depicted boys and girls of varying ages up to 12 years old, including infants.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Orlando, Federal Bureau of Investigation in Kansas, St. Johns County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office, and the Alachua (Florida) Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher LaForgia.
It is another case 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. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “Resources.”