Former RIT professor charged with sex trafficking, child porn possession

Crime

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Former RIT professor Peter Kiwitt is facing federal charges of sex trafficking of a minor, sex trafficking of a minor using force, fraud, coercion and possession of child pornography.

U.S. Attorney James Kennedy announced the charges Friday.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, Kiwitt, who was an assistant professor of RIT’s school of film and animation, was convicted of possession of a sexual performance by a child and sentenced to 10 years probation, and designated as a Level 1 sex offender in June 2017.

The criminal complaint alleges that on December 10, 2018 Kiwitt was pulled over by a Monroe County sheriff’s deputy. Also in the vehicle were two females, one adult and one minor. The complaint says the three were questioned about drug related activity and released, but later followed to a room at a Penfield motel.

The complaint says officers knocked on the room’s door and Kiwitt said he was dating the adult female, but knew her to be a prostitute “belonging to another pimp known to law enforcement.” Kiwitt denied any involvement in prostitution and officers did not make any arrests at that time.

On January 23, 2019, Rochester police officers responded to a report of a fatal overdose, where the minor seen in the vehicle with Kiwitt in December was found dead in a Rochester home. The owner of that Rochester home told police he brought the minor to his house to “engage in commercial sex acts with her.”

Further investigation, including cell phone and Facebook searches, uncovered conversations between Kiwitt, the adult female, and the minor female regarding prostitution activities, according to the complaint. Investigators say they also uncovered nude photos, some of which depicted child pornography.

RIT officials say Kiwitt hasn’t taught at RIT since June 2017.

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