doj.gif

NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


NOVEMBER 14, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


FORMER SCHOOL BUS DRIVER, CUSTODIAN

INDICTED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former school bus driver and custodian has been indicted by a federal grand jury for sexually exploiting several children in order to produce child pornography.


             Kevin T. Browning, 47, of Morrisville, Mo., was charged in a four-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Thursday, Oct. 4, 2007. That indictment was unsealed and made public following Browning’s arrest and his initial court appearance today. Browning resigned from his employment with the Marion C. Early R-V School District last August.


             “Parents teach their children to be wary of strangers, but in this case the allegations of sexual exploitation involve an adult they knew and trusted,” Wood said. “The sexual exploitation of children is an even greater outrage when adults who are in a position of trust abuse the children placed under their care.”


             The federal indictment alleges that, on separate occasions between October 2006 and March 2007, Browning exploited three minor females to produce child pornography. The indictment also charges Browning with being in possession of a computer and videotapes that contain child pornography between Aug. 10 and 14, 2007.


            Under federal statutes, the sexual exploitation of a child for the purpose of producing child pornography carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole. Possession of child pornography carries a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in the indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard E. Monroe. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Polk County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.


Project Safe Childhood

            This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.


****************

This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html