Liberal Man Pleads Guilty to Child Porn
Project Safe Childhood
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Liberal, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Timothy Curless, 53, of Liberal, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet between Nov. 4, 2012 and April 19, 2013.
According to court documents, a law enforcement officer was conducting an undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography by suspect(s) using file-sharing software. On two separate occasions the officer downloaded images of child pornography from Curless’s computer. Among those images were children who have not reached puberty and a child as young as three years of age. When officers executed a search warrant they learned that Curless had been using his neighbor’s wi-fi network in order to access the Internet.
Under federal statutes, Curless is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. 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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.
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."