KANSAS CITY, Mo. – An Ohio man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for traveling to Missouri in an attempt to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a 12-year-old child.
Timothy M. Zukoski, 34, of Southington, Ohio, was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed against Zukoski on Nov. 27, 2020.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Zukoski began communicating through Instagram on Oct. 21, 2020, with a person he believed to be 12 years old. In reality, the Instagram account had been set up by a Kansas City area woman for her daughter. The woman communicated with Zukoski under the identity of her daughter, the affidavit says, before contacting the FBI. An FBI undercover employee then began communicating with Zukoski through the Instagram account, assuming the identity of the 12-year-old girl. Zukoski began making arrangements to travel to the Kansas City area so that he could meet the child victim for sex.
Zukoski allegedly made plans with the FBI undercover employee to stay in Kansas City while the child victim’s mother was purportedly out of town over Thanksgiving weekend. Zukoski also suggested, the affidavit says, that the child victim could come live with him. When Zukoski arrived in Kansas City on Nov. 27, 2020, he was arrested. Investigators found numerous images of child pornography on his cell phone.
Today’s indictment charges Zukoski with one count of attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, one count of traveling across state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and one count of possessing child pornography.
The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Catherine A. Connelly. It was investigated by the FBI and the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”