Robert Dudukovich, 25, pleaded guilty Wednesday to one count of distribution of child pornography, said John Durham, U.S. attorney for the district of Connecticut, in a prepared statement.
U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven, Conn. scheduled Dudukovich’s sentencing hearing for Oct. 9. The defendant faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum of 20 years.
“He has been detained since September,” said court spokesman Tom Carson.
Dudukovich, between July and October 2017, managed a chat group on Kik that provided a forum for group members to communicate about their sexual interest in young boys and to share and trade child pornography primarily depicting young boys engaged in sexually explicit conduct, according to court documents and statements made in court. Kik is a smartphone messaging application.
He was convicted of sharing images and videos of child pornography with the group members, including a person in Connecticut. Also according to court statements, the pornography included videos of a minor engaged in sexual acts with another minor and a video of a minor engaged in a sexual act with an adult.
Dudukovich also was convicted of sharing a link to his Dropbox account — which contained additional images and videos of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct — with the group members. The investigation revealed the defendant also used his Tumblr account to access and view child porn.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) handled the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neeraj Patel prosecuted the case.
“This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation,” Carson said.
On Aug. 30, a federal grand jury indicted Dudukovich.
An undisclosed agency arrested him Sept. 5 in Berlin Heights, according to the GreenwichTime (Conn.). Federal authorities said a subsequent analysis of Dudukovich’s laptop and cell phone, which were seized at the time of his arrest, revealed additional videos of child porn.
“I had never heard of this individual until someone called (the station). … We’ve never dealt with him,” said Berlin Heights Police Chief Charity Schafer soon after Dudukovich was arrested.
The caller was concerned about the allegations, Schafer added.
Wakeman Police Chief Tim Hunker, in September, said he was “aware” of Dudukovich and knows who he is, but there have been no criminal cases against him in the village.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, visit www.justice.gov/psc. To report cases of child exploitation, go to www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/cybertipline.