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Parris Island drill instructor indicted on child-sex crimes, could face federal charges

Keith Knight, whom Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island officials say was a drill instructor at the time of his recent arrest in connection with a Texas child pornography sting, is pictured here in a Montgomery County (Texas) jail log photo. According to the jail log, Knight, 26, is from Moncks Corner, S.C.

COURTESY OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY JAIL

By WADE LIVINGSTON | The Island Packet (Tribune News Service) | Published: February 23, 2017

A former Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island drill instructor — who separated from the Corps after being charged with child-sex crimes — has been indicted by a Texas grand jury.

The indictment, on two second-degree felony counts of promotion of child pornography, occurred Feb. 14, according to court records.

If convicted on both counts, Knight could face up to 40 years in prison and $20,000 in fines, according to the Texas penal code.

Knight, 26, of Moncks Corner, was charged in Montgomery County, Texas, in November following a months-long Houston-area internet sting. He allegedly sent a nude photo of an infant to an undercover officer via an internet instant messaging application and, as the conversation developed over a few days, sent multiple photos and video of children performing sexual acts.

He also allegedly showed interest in traveling to Texas to watch the undercover officer — posing as a 28-year-old woman — perform sexual acts with a 5-year-old girl.

Mary Nan Huffman, chief prosecutor with the Houston-Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said Wednesday that there was no timeline for when the case could go to trial. She also reiterated that her office was open to negotiating a plea agreement with Knight’s attorney, retired Marine E. Tay Bond.

Bond could not be immediately reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.

Huffman said she was waiting on a forensic analysis of Knight’s computer and cellphone by the Department of Homeland Security.

Depending on what that analysis yields, Knight could face federal charges as well, she said. If those charges materialized, they would be addressed in a separate case, she said.

Gregory Palmore, spokesperson for Homeland Security, said he could “not confirm or deny” that the department was involved with the investigation. He declined to comment on the status of the forensic analysis and said Huffman’s office was the point of contact.

Knight was administratively separated from the Corps in mid-January.

He is currently being jailed in Montgomery County, according to the county’s website.

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©2017 The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.)
Visit The Island Packet (Hilton Head, S.C.) at www.islandpacket.com
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