Keyshawn Omar Cooper, 21, of Waynesboro was sentenced to 200 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to producing child pornography, according to a September 6 U.S. Department of Justice press release.
Judge J. Randal Hall also ordered Cooper to pay $3,000 in restitution, and to serve 15 years of supervised release and register as a sex offender after completion of his prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
As described in court May 9, 2021, when Cooper pled guilty, he communicated via an internet application with an 11-year-old child in Missouri. He persuaded the victim to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of creating visual depictions that the victim then sent to Cooper. The child’s mother discovered the activity and reported it to police in Cape Girardeau, Mo., who enlisted the assistance of the FBI in identifying and locating Cooper.
The investigation determined the child and Cooper met online while playing the “Grand Theft Auto” video game, and Cooper pretended to be a young girl to persuade the child to send sexually explicit photos. Agents found those images, along with other sexually explicit images of children, saved on Cooper’s phone.
“The internet is a very important and useful resource, but unfortunately can also be used for illegal activity as criminals like Cooper seek to prey on the most vulnerable of our population,” said Brian Ozden, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “Let this be a reminder to parents and caregivers, people can pretend to be anyone online, and you need to remain vigilant with monitoring your child’s online gaming activity and educating them about the risks of communicating with strangers.”
Anyone with information on suspected child sexual exploitation can contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843- 5678, or report.cybertip.org/.