Blue Springs Man Pleads Guilty to Producing Child Porn; Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison
Project Safe Childhood
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Blue Springs, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to producing child pornography and related charges.
Christopher R. Lockhart, 30, of Blue Springs, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to producing child pornography, attempting to distribute child pornography and possessing child pornography. Lockhart has been in federal custody since his arrest.
By pleading guilty today, Lockhart admitted that he used a minor – identified in the indictment as John Doe – to produce child pornography. Lockhart also admitted that he attempted to distribute an image of child pornography over the Internet on April 20, 2012, and that he was in possession of child pornography on May 30, 2012.
According to court documents, a detective with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department identified Lockhart’s computer during an undercover investigation of a peer-to-peer file-sharing network as containing child pornography. The detective downloaded 346 files from Lockhart’s computer, of which 161 files matched known suspected child pornography.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Lockhart’s residence on May 30, 2012, and seized numerous computers, including laptops, flash drives and other media. Some of them contained video files and images of child pornography, including a video produced by Lockhart of an adult man engaged in sex with the child victim, who is believed to be three years old at the time.
Under federal statutes, Lockhart is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 60 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $750,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph M. Marquez. It was investigated by the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and the Blue Springs, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."