A Fairfield County man who used his influence on social media platforms to sexually exploit children before being busted by an undercover investigator posing as a teen girl has been sentenced, federal authorities announced.
Edward Gaplin, age 40, of Stratford, has been sentenced to 216 months (18 years) in prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to offenses tied to the sexual manipulation of minors.
US Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery said that Galpin was an administrator of a private Kik messaging app chat group that provided a forum for members to discuss their sexual interest in young children and exchange images and videos of child sexual abuse.
As an administration, according to court documents, Galpin distributed child pornography, requested it from other group members, and actively removed members from the group who failed to share illicit materials.
Prosecutors said that Galpin possessed and shared a "significant amount of child pornography,” including images and videos of prepubescent minors and “content portraying sadistic and masochistic conduct and the sexual abuse of toddlers.”
Further investigation also found that Galpin was complicit in using Instagram to identify young girls with the intention of soliciting or producing child pornography.
According to investigators, Galpin arranged to meet with a 17-year-old girl through the social media app and engaged in sexually explicit conduct with her, which he recorded and shared on Kik.
He also arranged to have a 15-year-old girl send him sexually explicit photos of herself, which Galpin also recorded, and he contacted an eighth-grade girl through a direct message and received from her a video and other images of her engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
It is further alleged that Galpin also used spy cameras to record videos of women and girls while they were undressing. He then distributed the videos, including videos of a minor girl, through the messaging app.
Galpin was finally busted in June 2020, when he reached out to a Kik account operated by an undercover law enforcement officer posing as a 14-year-old girl.
Avery said that Galpin asked the “girl” when her “mom” would be away from home and arranged to meet the “girl” at a coffee shop in Connecticut.
When he arrived at the scheduled time and place on June 25, 2020, he wasn’t met with a teen, and instead was apprehended by law enforcement officers, who seized his iPhone.
According to investigators, he was arrested later that day, and his phone was filled with nearly 2,000 child sexual abuse videos and images, including some that he produced himself.
Galpin pleaded guilty in March 2021 to two counts each of production of child pornography and distribution of child pornography. He has been detained since his arrest.
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