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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


SEPTEMBER 7, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


FORMER NORTHLAND EMT INDICTED

FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former North Kansas City Fire Department emergency medical technician has been indicted by a federal grand jury for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography.


             Toby L. Rice, 33, of Blue Springs, Mo., was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City on Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Rice’s arrest and initial court appearance.


             The federal indictment alleges that Rice used a minor – who has been identified as a 5-year-old girl – to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography on April 1, 2007.


             The indictment also alleges that Rice distributed child pornography between April 1 and Aug. 10, 2007, and that he was in possession of child pornography on Aug. 24, 2007.


             The court granted the government’s motion to detain Rice without bond until his trial. According to the motion for pretrial detention, Rice has claimed in Internet chats to have engaged in sexual contact with the victim and has offered to allow another person to have sex with her while he watched. The motion alleges that Rice also has received and forwarded to others images of child pornography depicting additional minors, most apparently under the age of 12. The motion also reports that Rice has placed an advertisement in craigslist offering his services as a babysitter.


             A forfeiture allegation contained in the indictment would require Rice to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including a computer, a digital camera and any hard drives, CDs, DVDs and other electronic storage media containing child pornography.


            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 Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Blue Springs, Mo., Police Department.


Project Safe Childhood

            This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In February 2006, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales launched 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/.


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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