A Fairfax man and previously convicted sex offender has been charged in federal court with possession of child pornography. But according to a recently unsealed federal complaint, he told an undercover agent in an online chat that he wanted to rape and murder his ex-girlfriend as well as a five-year-old girl, and film the acts to sell online.
36-year-old Ryan Michael Kannett of Marin County was arrested back in December, when the undercover agent alerted local authorities to Kannett's statements, which led to them raiding his home and seizing more than 450 graphic files, photographs and video, that depicted sexually explicit and violent situations involving children.
As the East Bay Times reports, Kannett referred to himself in the chat as a "pedophile," and propositioned the agent in potentially joining him in the acts of murder and rape. According to the complaint, he said he wanted to film the act involving a five-year-old, but then said a child of any age would do. He allegedly made clear that he was not fantasizing, and intended to follow through on the acts.
Kannett was previously convicted in a case in which he offered cocaine to the legal guardian of a 10-year-old in exchange for being able to molest the child, which led to his being a registered sex offender.
Per the federal complaint, one of the videos seized from Kannett's home depicted a girl between the ages of 2 and 5 being tied up while a woman sexually abused her and burned her with a candle for approximately eight minutes.
Kannett's first court appearance has not yet been scheduled.
The case has echoes from a bizarre murder-fantasy turned murder that took place in the summer of 2017, leading to a manhunt that ended in the Bay Area. Recently fired Northwestern University professor Wyndham Lathem, then 42 years old, met a 56-year-old Oxford University employee named Andrew Warren in an online chat and allegedly conspired to kill Lathem's boyfriend together for a psycho-sexual thrill. Warren flew to Chicago for the occasion, and prosecutors say the pair killed 26-year-old Trenton Cornell-Duranleau, with Warren filming the initial stabbing on his cellphone as the younger man cried for help.
Warren has since pleaded guilty to murder and agreed to testify against Lathem. Lathem, meanwhile, attempted to be freed on bail in June as he awaits trial, with his lawyers arguing that his expertise in immunology was needed in the fight against the coronavirus. As the Associated Press reports, he was denied bail twice in that effort.