Former EKU professor pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Published 9:58 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

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A Richmond man, who was a former professor at Eastern Kentucky University, pleaded guilty at U.S. District Court on Wednesday to attempting to produce child pornography, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Kentucky.

According to the plea agreement entered in to by Kyle Knezevich, 36, on Sept. 7th, 2023, an Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) student located a hidden camera in a men’s bathroom on campus. An investigation revealed the camera had been placed in the bathroom by Knezevich, who at the time was a professor at EKU.  After the discovery, law enforcement obtained a search warrant for Knezevich’s home and electronic devices.

A search of those devices revealed Knezevich knowingly produced surreptitious recordings of both adult and minor males, from approximately 2009 through 2023. The videos were recorded in bathroom settings, including locker rooms, urinals, and the bathroom of his personal residence. In these videos, minor males can be seen in various states of nudity, including using the restroom, undressing, and showering.

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As part of his plea, Knezevich admitted his intent in creating the videos was to capture the minor males engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office; Phillip J. Burnett, Commissioner of the Kentucky State Police (KSP); and Chief Brandon Collins, EKU Police Department, jointly announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, KSP, and EKU Police Department.

Knezevich is scheduled to be sentenced on April 16th. He faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in prison. However, any sentence will be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted this case as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.