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Warren Man Admits Trying to Solicit Minor for Sex at Warwick Mall in 2018

The US District Courthouse in Providence, RI.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A Warren man faces 10 years to life in federal prison after admitting to charges that he attempted to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity at the Warwick Mall in 2018 and that he possessed and distributed child pornography, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman.

Christopher Kinney, 44, admitted that beginning on April 16, 2018, he had a series of online communications with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. In communications that rapidly became sexually explicit, Kinney expressed an interest in meeting the teenager at the Warwick Mall, dressing her in a diaper, walking her around the mall, and then engaging in sexual activity with her in the mall or elsewhere, according to Weisman’s office. He arranged to meet with the teenager at the mall food court on April 26, 2018. The person he was actually communicating with was a Rhode Island State Police Detective assigned to the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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On April 26, 2018, members of the ICAC Task Force surveilled the mall and apprehended Kinney as he arrived at the mall food court. A search of Kenney’s car resulted in the discovery of, among other items, a diaper bag containing several diapers, a pacifier and baby bottle, condoms, candy, and a canister of children’s bubble fluid. Seized from Kinney’s pocket was an Apple iPhone, on which investigators later identified approximately 56 images of child pornography and evidence that on numerous occasions he electronically received and shared files of child pornography and images of children being harshly punished and/or beaten, Weisman’s office reported.

Kinney pleaded guilty May 30, 2019, to charges of using means of interstate commerce to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity, distribution of child pornography, and possession of child pornography.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge William E. Smith on September 13, 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

At sentencing, Kinney faces statutory penalties of 10 years to life imprisonment, a mandatory assessment of $5,000 as provided for in the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act, and a fine of up to $250,000 on the charge of using means of interstate commerce to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity; 5–20 years imprisonment, a mandatory assessment of $5,000 as provided for in the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act, and a fine of up to $250,000 on the charge of distribution of child pornography; and up to 10 years imprisonment, a mandatory assessment of $5,000 as provided for in the Justice for Victims Trafficking Act, and a fine of up to $250,000 on the charge of possession of child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

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Weisman’s office reported Kinney also faces child molestation charges in Rhode Island state court.