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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


JULY 26, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


EDWARDS MAN INDICTED FOR PRODUCING,

POSSESSING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Edwards, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for sexually exploiting a child to produce child pornography and for being in possession of child pornography.


             James Ray Starling, 45, of Edwards, was charged in a five-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield.


             The federal indictment alleges that, on four separate occasions from Sept. 7 to 19, 2006, Starling used a minor female to produce child pornography in Pulaski County, Mo. Under federal statutes, each violation carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole.


             The federal indictment also alleges that Starling was in possession of two computers, a cellular telephone and a film camera that contained child pornography on Oct. 8, 2006, in Pulaski County.


             Today’s indictment contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Starling to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including two computers, a digital camera, a cellular telephone and a film camera.


            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 Rose A. Barber. It was investigated by the St. Robert, Mo., Police Department, the Lebanon, Mo., Police Department, the Pulaski County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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