Kendall Carter, 21, of Milton, was indicted on September 23, 2015 in connection with an investigation into an alleged scheme to extort several minors into producing child pornography, announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. Specifically, the indictment charges Carter with production of child pornography, attempted production of child pornography, and extortion.
According to testimony at a detention hearing, Carter frequented a social networking application in order to meet young girls online. The anonymous nature of the online relationship allowed Carter to misrepresent his name, age, and gender. With one of the victims, Carter pretended to be a 14 year-old boy from Tennessee. Soon after establishing contact, Carter used deceit and manipulation to obtain compromising images of the victims. Thereafter, Carter threatened to send those images of the victims to their school, friends, families, and/or pornographic websites unless the victims created and sent him images of themselves nude or engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Some victims complied with Carter's demands. The victims referred to in the indictment eventually told a family member or other authority figure.
The investigation of this case is ongoing. To date, minor female victims have been identified and law enforcement is attempting to confirm the identity of other possible victims. The following information is being provided to assist in that effort:
Carter frequented a social networking application known as "Kik Messenger." He previously used the name "Kenny," and he also used online identities and screen names which included, "mrstang76" and "olliej2222," to communicate with his victims.
Anyone who believes they might have been a victim of Carter's offenses is encouraged to contact the Nashville office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), at 615-664-5500.
The case was investigated by the Rutherford County Sheriff's Office; the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation; the Department of the Army - Criminal Investigative Division; and the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). Assistant United States Attorneys Thomas J. Jaworski and Jason Ehrlinspiel are prosecuting the case.
If convicted of sexual exploitation of children, Carter faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine for each victim. In addition, if convicted of extortion, Carter faces up to 2 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each victim. An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proved guilty in a court of law.