Sailor accused of soliciting explicit photos, videos from teen

Updated 3/21/2019 7:58 PM
Editor's note: an earlier version reported Ethan Knez is from Naperville. He is from Indiana.

A 21-year-old sailor stationed at the Naval Station Great Lakes has been accused of persuading a 13-year-old Michigan girl to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of herself online.

Ethan Knez, who is from Indiana, was arrested at the base Tuesday. He was charged Monday with sexual exploitation of children, according to federal court documents.

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Knez is accused of using the anonymous chat website Omegle to meet the girl on Feb. 27, 2018. Federal authorities say ge then moved the conversation to the chat app Kik, where the activity continued until the morning of March 2, 2018, when police seized the girl's phone after being alerted by her parents.

On the app, Knez persuaded the girl to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of herself and allegedly sent her videos of himself, federal authorities say.

Court documents state Knez admitted to similar conduct with at least 15 other people whom he believed to be 15 or 16 years old.

Charging documents also allege that a search of Knez's cellphone also revealed relevant web searches.

On or about April 10, 2018, prosecutors say, "jailbait" was searched twice, the term "teen jailbait" was searched four times, the term "omegle jailbait" was searched five times and the term "underage" was searched one time.

Knez is being held without bond until a detention hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday in Chicago.

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