3 men arrested for separate incidents of online exploitation of children

Source: Attorney General's Office
Source: Attorney General's Office

TANGIPAHOA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Three men have been arrested for separate incidents involving the alleged exploitation of children online, officials say.

According to Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell, investigators arrested William Knight, 26, of Hammond, on charges of computer-aided solicitation of a minor and indecent behavior with a juvenile.

The investigation was launched after Georgia authorities contacted investigators about a complaint involving an adult male from Louisiana who was allegedly engaging in inappropriate chat applications with a juvenile in which the suspect requested nude photos of the victim.  Agents were able to locate Knight as the suspect and made the arrest subsequent to a search warrant executed on his residence.  If convicted, Knight faces up to 17 years in prison.

In a separate case, investigators arrested Robert Shawn Ipavec, 42 of Ponchatoula, on a single count of distributing pornography involving juveniles.

The arrest stems from an undercover cyber crime investigation into the sharing of child pornography online. Investigators were able to determine that Ipavec had made videos of child pornography available for download.  Ipavec faces up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.

Leonardo Mastascuso, 44, of Tickfaw, also faces 20 years in prison after investigators charged him with a single count of possessing pornography involving juveniles.  Forensic analysis of evidence collected during a search warrant at Mastascuso's residence showed he possessed child pornography videos on his computer.

All three men were booked into the Tangipahoa Parish Jail.