ORLANDO — A German man has been charged with traveling to Florida to have sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Meinrad Kopp, 55, was arrested when he arrived in Orlando last month, according to a report issued yesterday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Kopp, who lives in Switzerland, had written sexually explicit messages online in response to a Special Operations Response Team agent that passed himself off as the father of a girl he was selling for sex, according to William Daniels, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice.
Kopp had told the undercover Brevard County officer that he wanted to humiliate and inflict pain upon the girl, treating her like a dog. He also alleged that he had sexually abused children in the past, including an 11-year-old girl whom he beat along with her father, according to the report. Kopp also stated that beating children is “fun,” “fantastic,” and better than sex.
Kopp flew into Orlando International Airport on June 16, where he was picked up by the undercover officer and driven to Brevard County. On the way, a patrol deputy pulled the car over and arrested Kopp.
This investigation was a joint effort between agents from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force and U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Once in custody, Kopp admitted to writing the messages and downloading child pornography. He is charged with attempting to lure a minor into sexual activity, traveling into the U.S. with the intent of engaging in illicit sexual conduct, and transporting child pornography.
Kopp faces life in prison if convicted.
The case was part of Project Safe Childhood, a national initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to identify, arrest, and prosecute persons who sexually exploit children, as well as to locate and rescue victims.
Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey issued a statement yesterday.
“I would like to personally thank everyone who assisted in this investigation for their hard work and dedication. The agents who investigate these types of crimes work around the clock to protect our children, and this case is a perfect example that there are no boundaries for those who wish to harm our most precious citizens,” said Ivey.