Danish man gets 30 years for stalking 11-year-old girl

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Danish man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for using online accounts to stalk and threaten an 11-year-old Missouri girl he used to make child pornography.

Kai Lundstroem Pedersen, 61, of Randers, Denmark, was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Kansas City for extorting the Buchanan County girl into making child pornography. Pedersen pleaded guilty in September to producing child pornography, extortion and transporting child pornography.

“This 61-year-old man tricked and tried to bully an 11-year-old girl,” U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips said. “He waged a relentless campaign of extortion that harassed and terrorized his young victim and will now pay the price.”

Pedersen was accused of committing most of the crimes in Denmark, where he worked as a government technology consultant. But when authorities noticed activity on his Facebook accounts shifted to a U.S. Internet address, investigators tracked Pedersen to Stony Brook, N.Y., and arrested him in September 2010. He had come to the United States on vacation, apparently unrelated to his campaign against the girl.

Prosecutors said Pedersen met the girl online in July 2010 and convinced her he was a 14-year-old boy, The Kansas City Star reported (http://bit.ly/AduYYm) Thursday. Pedersen persuaded the girl to pose nude in front of a web camera and recorded and the session, threatening to post the video online and send it to her friends and family.

He also tried to convince the girl that thousands of others were watching her video. He assumed multiple identities and sent her messages, threatening rape and murder.

“If you don’t want me to post everything on the Internet, then write back to me on Facebook,” he wrote on Aug. 1, 2010. “Then maybe we can find a way to prevent me from making everything public.”

Eventually, he sent the images to people she knew.

“Ten years from now you can still be found and enjoyed,” Pedersen wrote in one message. “I hope your (boyfriend) doesn’t stumble across it.”

The 11-year-old’s mother contacted investigators when she learned of her daughter’s relationship with Pedersen.

“My family has been left shattered because of this horrible, depraved person,” the girl’s mother said in a statement read to the court. “None of us will ever be the same. Now is when we get to start picking up the pieces.”

Family members were at the sentencing, but the girl did not attend.

Pedersen’s defense lawyer, Ronna Holloman-Hughes, did not try to downplay Pedersen’s offenses. But she said if he had been convicted in Denmark, he likely would have faced a six-year sentence.

U.S. District Judge Greg Kays, who sentenced Pedersen, said he didn’t think Denmark takes this kind of crime seriously enough.

In his own statement to the judge, Pedersen apologized, calling his conduct “awful” and “inexcusable.”

“I’m not in a position to ask her or her family to forgive me,” Pedersen said. “I just hope the memory will fade.”

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