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U.S. porn sting nets man in Howland



Published: Mon, February 9, 2009 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Patricia Meade

An Army veteran who used a computer to send illegal images of children got a nine-year prison sentence.

YOUNGSTOWN — An undercover FBI agent trolling online chat rooms received child pornography from a computer Richard Bozmoff used in Howland Township — and one he used when stationed in the Middle East as an Army contractor.

Bozmoff, 42, is in the Mahoning County jail pending transfer to a federal prison. He reached a plea agreement with the government and pleaded guilty to using a computer and the Internet to transport visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct. He was sentenced to nine years in prison, followed by five years’ supervised release, and he must register as a sex offender.

FBI Special Agent Steven Forest, working undercover from his Buffalo, N.Y., field office, began the online investigation in September 2005. The case, which nabbed a dozen men, was part of a nationwide initiative dubbed Project Safe Childhood to protect kids from online exploitation and abuse.

Forest sent several messages Sept. 6, 2005, in a chat room entitled “LuvF8 9 10 11 12,” indicating that he had videos to trade. He received an e-mail from a person with the AOL screen name KSENIYABOZ that had a video file depicting a preteen girl engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

The agent then initiated an instant message with the sender, who turned out to be Bozmoff, and discussed trading images of preteen children engaged in sexual activity.

Video files Forest sent to Bozmoff were intentionally corrupted so that the recipient could not open them, according to the agent’s affidavit. Bozmoff sent more videos that same afternoon, including one that depicted a man and preteen girl having sex.

Forest then served a subpoena on AOL to obtain subscriber information and got Bozmoff’s name, Overland Avenue address, phone number, screen names and credit card information. Between Sept. 4 and Sept. 13, more than 80 videos or still photos depicting child pornography were sent from KSENIYABOZ.

The videos featured a variety of sexual situations — a woman with a young girl; a man and a young girl in a car; a man with a child who appears to be under 3 years of age; and a man having sex with a preteen girl wearing a tutu and eating a lollipop.

The agent learned that Bozmoff left the United States for the United Arab Emirates on July 29, 2005, and returned that November. In 2001, after 17 years with the Army, Bozmoff began working for the Department of Defense as an independent contractor performing security work primarily in the Middle East.

In a court filing before sentencing, Bozmoff’s lawyers — one in Youngstown and one in Buffalo — acknowledged that while he was in the Middle East the recipient of the child pornography he sent from overseas turned out to be the agent. The lawyers asked that his “exemplary military career,” the well being of his children and his family’s ability to function in his absence be considered in the sentence. His family, a wife and two children, resides in Maryland.

The lawyers said it was important to note that Bozmoff did not create or take part in creation of the pornography. They said he “has been a model citizen all his life, worked hard and paid his taxes and is raising two children with his wife.”

The government responded that the consumer of sexual images, such as Bozmoff, causes children of pornographic abuse to suffer through the dissemination of the material.

When Bozmoff returned to the United States, FBI agents from the bureau’s Boardman office interviewed him Nov. 28, 2005. He denied transmitting child pornography but admitted that the laptop at his Howland home had more than 500 still images and 50 videos of child pornography on it. He said the computer was the one he used when he traveled in and out of the country. His computer equipment was seized and forfeited.

Bozmoff was arrested Nov. 30, 2005, on a warrant issued in New York, made his initial appearance in Youngstown federal court and posted a $20,000 bond. The case continued in Buffalo federal court, where he eventually reached a plea agreement.

He was sentenced in late August.

meade@vindy.com


Comments

1Lifesnadir(164 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Another child trafficker bites the dust--good!

Just tell me HOW any man claims he is a model citizen raising two children and thinks he can trade child-porn??? Do these men have any moral compass? If it was his daughter in the pictures, would he then feel differently?

My opinion: The judge should only be swayed by this man having 2 kids if the judge uses it to issue an even harsher penalty. This "I have a wife and kids--poor me" routine has to stop when the man willingly degraded other children via photos and videos. Just because he did not author or create the images does not mean he did not degrade children through trading images.

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2aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

First of all, let me say that I am glad they found this man and have gotten him off of the streets (and the Internet).

Secondly -- although I understand it is important to report the facts, was it really necessary to go into detail by describing what the videos 'featured'? The author of this article could have just left it at "a young girl engaged in sexually explicit acts."

Third -- why in the world would AOL allow its users to create a chatroom called 'LuvF8 9 10 11 12,' much less allow it to operate long enough for these conversations to occur?

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3EricLW(66 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

While I don't participator in viewing underage porn...

But..... I know Sex being the number 1 addiction / drive known to man... I think we should do more in educating sex addicts then just sending them to jail. There is a fine line for viewing images and preforming the act yourself.

9 years is a bit harsh for looking at and trading pictures tho, that is my opinion.

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4aeparish(669 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree with you on the necessity to educate (even rehabilitate) sex addicts, but I completely and 110% disagree with you on saying that there is a fine line between the two issues mentioned.

Someone who looks at preteens engaging in sex is just as disgusting, immoral, and guilty as being a participant in the act. Although the participants should surely get a stronger sentence (because that shows they will not only look, but they will carry out to it), those who look and -even worse- get pleasure out of looking at these images also need to be punished. This type of behavior starts out as just 'looking' out of curiosity, and then has the potential to evolve into 'experimenting' out of curiosity.

And please tell me, Eric. If you have a daughter or perhaps might one day, or even a younger sister -- would you want her subjected to this? Would you want some dirty old man to even so much as look at her face, let alone look at other parts of her? I'm not excusing those preteens for what they did, but that man should know better.

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