Monday, April 4, 2016

Limon woman arrested on charges of Child Pornography

By Will Bublitz

A young woman from Limon was recently arrested and charged by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with producing child pornography that involved an infant victim at the request of an older man.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, 18-year-old Brandi Leonard was arrested earlier this month on the child pornography charges. Also arrested and charged was Richard Hennis, 40, of Colorado Springs.

“The arrest warrants were issued Friday, March 18 and they were arrested that weekend by agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI),” said Jeff Dorschner, Public Affair Officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver. “Their first court appearance was on Monday, March 21. They are in the custody of U.S. Marshals and will be held without bond until the resolution of their cases.”
Dorschner said “an unrelated investigation by HSI” first led its agents to Hennis. Evidence obtained from Hennis’s cellphone then implicated Leonard. The Colorado Springs Police Department’s Internet Crimes Against Children Unit was also involved in the investigation.

From evidence presented at the Federal Courthouse in Denver, the two suspects apparently met online and engaged in Internet chats over a two-month period during which Leonard allegedly told Hennis that she had sexually abused an infant. According to the DOJ, Hennis encouraged her to molest the infant again, take photographs or videos of the abuse, and then send them to him which she did.
“Law enforcement recovered the pictures that Leonard produced of the infant from Hennis’s phone,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

The DOJ also claimed that around the same time that Leonard was allegedly abusing the infant, she was in contact via email with nannies4hire.com and care.com, which are websites that connect child-care providers with those needing child care.

Investigators also alleged that Leonard and Hennis chatted in graphic detail about kidnapping, raping, killing and dismembering a child between the ages of 4 and 8 years.

“Leonard twice during the chat indicated that she didn’t intend to go through with it, yet she continued to engaged in such chats with Hennis,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

 Pick up this week's Limon Leader or Eastern Colorado Plainsman, available on store shelves around Lincoln County for the complete story.


For more information about PSC, the public is encouraged to visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit http://www.justice.gov/psc/resources.html and click on the tab "resources."

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