By: Ian Scheuring
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- A Honolulu man convicted of using the internet to expose himself via a webcam to a 14 year old girl residing in Australia was sentenced on Wednesday.
Kyle Kaponiokalani Saito, 22, was sentenced to nine months in prison by United States District Judge J. Michael Seabright. Saito pleaded guilty to the offense on June 23, 2011.
According to FBI Special Agent Tom Simon, Australian authorities aided the investigation.
"International crime requires international cooperation. In this case, the Australian authorities and the FBI worked together seamlessly to bring a sex offender to justice," Special Agent Simon said. "Perverts who prey on children via the internet have no regard for international borders."
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that federal law prohibits transferring obscenity to a minor, and that such conduct is no less culpable when it occurs over the Internet. Saito admitted in court that he engaged in sexually explicit communications with a 14 year-old girl over the Internet, and used a webcam to broadcast live images of his genitalia to the girl.
The case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Project Safe Childhood uses federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims.
Though Project Safe Children continues to protect children, Special Agent Simon recommends parents remain vigilant.
"Parents should keep an eye on the people their kids communicate with on the internet. There is a world of creeps out there."
Once he is released from prison, Saito will be subject to three years of supervised release and must register as a sex offender.
Copyright 2011 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.
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