The Attorney General’s Office announced today that Allen Zeiner, 59, of Fayston, Vermont, was arraigned on January 13, 2022, on six felony counts of Promoting a Recording of Sexual Conduct. The charges brought against Mr. Zeiner are the result of a criminal investigation – including the execution of residential and online data search warrants – conducted by the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (VT-ICAC), including personnel from the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Vermont State Police, Burlington Police Department, and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The investigation was initiated when the VT-ICAC Task Force received a CyberTipline Report from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual promoted what was suspected to be files containing child sexual abuse material, commonly referred to as “child pornography,” on the Kik platform. Based upon the criminal investigation of this tip, Mr. Zeiner was identified as the source of the suspected content on the identified account. During the execution of a search warrant on Mr. Zeiner’s residence, additional devices were recovered that will be forensically examined.
Mr. Zeiner pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Vermont Superior Court, Washington Criminal Division. The Attorney General’s Office requested bail in the amount of $5,000; however, the Court, Superior Court Judge Kevin Griffin presiding, denied this request but did order conditions of release which prohibit Mr. Zeiner’s access to minors, the internet and devices capable of accessing the internet during the pendency of the case.
The VT-ICAC Task Force investigates cases of child sexual exploitation occurring over the internet, including the production and online distribution of child sexual abuse materials. The VT-ICAC Task Force also provides forensic examination services, technical assistance, law enforcement training, and public education and outreach. The Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Vermont State Police, Homeland Security Investigations and other federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies are affiliated with VTICAC Task Force.
The Attorney General emphasizes that individuals charged with a crime are legally presumed innocent until their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.