St. Louis Man sentenced to 10 and a half years in Federal Prison for distributing child pornography
Anchorage, Alaska - U.S. Attorney Karen L. Loeffler announced today that a St. Louis man was sentenced in federal court in Anchorage for distributing child pornography.
Leland Paster, 29, from St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced today by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Ralph R. Beistline to 10 and a half years in prison to be followed by 15 years of supervised release.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyle G. French, who prosecuted the case, Paster used an Internet email account to amass and trade a collection of over 1,000 images and 50 videos depicting children being sexually abused. The depictions included toddlers and bondage/torture. Paster’s collection also reflects the international scope of child sex abuse that feeds the demand created by Paster and others who collect and trade child pornography. Paster’s collection included 600 images and he possessed 23 videos involving many known child pornography series depicting the same victims. These materials contained at least 16 identified child victims who were abused in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy, the Republic of Moldova, the Ukraine, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Brazil, and the United States.
Judge Beistline emphasized during sentencing that child pornography is “not a victimless crime” and characterized Paster’s conduct as helping to satisfy a market for the depictions.
“The possession, receipt, transportation, and distribution of child pornography perpetuates the harm to victims depicted in the images and fuels a market, thereby leading to further production of images” stated Ms. Loeffler. Ms. Loeffler further stated that “Paster’s participation in email child pornography groups, for example, involves membership and informal communications which inevitably and disturbingly encourages child sex sexual abuse by other individuals.”
AUSA French further stated that every internet user can help combat the problem by choosing to report child pornography related links, emails, media, and other materials. This effort may possibly rescue a child. If anyone encounters child pornography online, you can report its location to your Internet service provider, local or state law enforcement, the FBI or Department of Homeland Security office. It may also be reported online via the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s (NCMEC) website at cybertipline.com. NCMEC will forward your report to the appropriate investigative agency for follow-up.
Ms. Loeffler commends the Department of Homeland Security Investigations for the investigation of this case.