A former Worthington Libraries network administrator pleaded guilty May 15 to producing child pornography after he persuaded an overseas girl to send him nude photos and videos.
Darren Kamnitzer, 44, of Streamwater Drive in Blacklick, Jefferson Township, submitted the plea during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Columbus. The felony count carries a potential prison sentence of up to 30 years.
Investigators say Kamnitzer contacted a 10-year-old girl in Switzerland in September through a social-media site, posing as a manager for a known teenage singer and internet personality looking for people to appear in videos.
With promises of a plane trip to California, Kamnitzer persuaded the youngster to provide photos and videos of her scantily clad and then nude, urging her to be “brave” and “strong” and adding, “I know you can do this and no one is going to see this, OK?” according to court documents. He also persuaded the girl to provide videos of herself defecating and urinating.
The girl’s parents later contacted investigators, who traced the online interaction to systems in use at Worthington Libraries locations, where Kamnitzer worked as network administrator, and to his Blacklick home, according to documents.
Kamnitzer denied knowledge of the social-media and email accounts involved in the crime and told officers “he did not believe any evidence of child pornography or the sexual exploitation of children would be present on any computers in the house,” according to documents.
But subsequent examinations of seized computers and other digital-media devices uncovered images and recordings of child pornography, according to documents.
Kamnitzer was arrested in March and was scheduled to be arraigned May 15 before U.S. District Judge Michael H. Watson. Watson will determine a final sentence at a later date.