Stewart Matthew Kidwell, 36, of Blanchester, Ohio, was arrested today on charges that he sought someone online to rape a 4-year-old family member while he watched and that he distributed child pornography through a social media website.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kevin Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell; Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil, who oversees the Regional Electronics and Computer Investigations Task Force (RECI); and other agencies in the Greater Cincinnati Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force announced the charges today, which were unsealed after Kidwell’s arrest.
According to court documents, Kidwell approached a user on a social dating site in October 2013 and said he wanted to see someone rape his four-year old family member. The user reported the exchange to Cincinnati police who referred the case to RECI and the FBI for further investigation.
Investigators worked with the user to continue the conversation. Kidwell sent the investigator sexually explicit photos of the family member and offered to bring the child to a meeting in order to engage in sex.
The two-count complaint charges Kidwell with one count of coercion and enticement of another person to engage in illegal sexual contact with a minor child, a crime punishable by at least 10 years and up to life imprisonment, and one count of distribution of child pornography, which is punishable by at least five years and up to 20 years in prison.
Kidwell appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephanie K. Bowman who ordered him held without bond. The case will be presented to a federal grand jury for possible additional charges.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.
Stewart commended the investigation by FBI special agents, Cincinnati Police officers, and investigators with the Greater Cincinnati ICAC, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Christy Muncy, who is representing the United States in this case.
Agencies participating in the Greater Cincinnati ICAC, in addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, include the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, U.S. Secret Service, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil, and the police departments in Amberley Village, Blue Ash, Cincinnati, and West Chester.
Charges in a criminal complaint are accusations only. It is the government’s burden to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.