Leonard C Boyle, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that JESSICA PICKERING, 27, formerly of Waterbury, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty yesterday before U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport to distributing child pornography through the Kik social media application.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in October 2020, Pickering joined a Kik group geared toward those with a sexual interest in children and then corresponded with an FBI Online Covert Employee (“OCE”) who was monitoring the group. Pickering stated that she had access to three minors, aged 7 and younger. On October 20, 2020, Pickering posted two live videos to the Kik group that depicted child pornography of a male toddler. Pickering later sent the OCE two additional videos that depicted child pornography of the same child. The next day, Pickering withdrew from the Kik group, stating that she “felt an immense amount of disgust for [her]self after what [she] did the other night.”
Pickering was arrested on a federal criminal complaint on October 27, 2020.
Judge Underhill scheduled sentencing for August 4, 2021, at which time Pickering faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.
Pickering is released on a $100,000 bond and residing with family in Queens, New York, pending sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Wolcott Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarala V. Nagala.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.