Former EKU Professor Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Produce Child Pornography

For Immediate Release

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
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FRANKFORT, Ky. A Richmond, Ky., man, Kyle Knezevich, 36, pleaded guilty on Tuesday, before U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove, to attempting to produce child pornography.

According to his plea agreement, on September 7, 2023, an Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) student located a hidden camera in a men’s bathroom on campus. An investigation revealed that the camera had been placed in the bathroom by Knezevich, who at the time was a professor at the University. After the discovery, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Knezevich’s home and electronic devices.

A search of those devices revealed that Knezevich knowingly produced surreptitious recordings of both adult and minor males, from approximately 2009 through 2023. The videos were recorded in bathroom settings, including locker rooms, urinals, and the bathroom of his personal residence. In these videos, minor males can be seen in various states of nudity, including using the restroom, undressing, and showering. As part of his plea, Knezevich admitted that his intent in creating the videos was to capture the minor males engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office; Phillip J. Burnett, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police (KSP); and Chief Brandon Collins, EKU Police Department, jointly announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, KSP, and EKU Police Department. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin Roth.

Knezevich is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16, 2024. He faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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Top photo credit: Adobe Stock

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edky/pr/former-eku-professor-pleads-guilty-attempting-produce-child-pornography