GREAT FALLS – A former U.S. Air Force service member admitted on March 14 to charges accusing him of enticing minor boys in Montana he met online into sending him sexually explicit images of themselves.
Raymond Larry Edward Kennedy, 24, of Kalispell, pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and to receipt of child pornography, according to the Department of Justice.
Kennedy faces a mandatory minimum 15 years to 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and five years to life of supervised release. He is detained.
Prosecutors said an investigation began in February 2017 when the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Malmstrom Air Force Base contacted an agent with Homeland Security Investigations and members of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for help with an online child exploitation case involving Kennedy.
The Air Force discharged Kennedy on Feb. 6, 2017.
The investigation found that Kennedy met a minor boy who lived in Montana on Snapchat and ultimately determined that Kennedy had met six minor boys who all lived in Montana, according to the press release.
In Kennedy’s online communications with the boys from about July 2015 through June 2017, he received sexually explicit images of the boys’ genitals.
The boys were all younger than 18 and lived in Kalispell, Big Fork and Great Falls. Law enforcement determined that Kennedy induced and persuaded one of the boys to produce a sexually explicit image of himself, which he sent to Kennedy.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee Peterson is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.