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


MAY 21, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


RETIRED SCHOOL TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY

TO PRODUCING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


INDEPENDENCE MAN FACES 15-YEAR MANDATORY

MINIMUM PRISON TERM


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man, who was an elementary school teacher before retiring, pleaded guilty in federal court today to secretly videotaping four minor boys in order to produce child pornography.


             John Edward Enness, 69, of Independence, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey this afternoon to the charge contained in a May 29, 2007, federal indictment. Enness, a longtime teacher in the Kansas City, Mo., school district, remains in federal custody.


             Enness used a covert motion detector camera hidden inside an alarm clock in a bedroom of his house to secretly videotape four 12-to-14-year-old boys while they were visiting his residence during the spring and throughout the summer of 2005. The boys watched adult pornography on a computer that was located in the bedroom.


             Enness downloaded the videos captured by the hidden camera to a computer that he took to Best Buy to be serviced on July 17, 2006. He asked the service technician to back up the computer's hard drive because it was running slowly. A Best Buy employee located evidence of child pornography when he started working on the computer, and his supervisor at Best Buy notified the Independence, Mo., Police Department.


             The Independence Police Department retrieved the computer and obtained a state warrant to search its contents. The computer was then taken to the Heart of America Regional Computer Forensic Laboratory to be forensically examined. The forensic examination revealed that the computer contained approximately 152 images depicting child pornography, and approximately 40 movie files depicting child pornography.


             Enness also admitted that he possessed two safety deposit boxes that contained more than 200 CDs with thousands of images and videos depicting child pornography.


             By pleading guilty today, Enness also agreed to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the offenses, including his residence at18100 E. 27th Terr., in Independence, a computer, a printer/scanner, and all hard drives and other electronic storage media containing child pornography.


            Under federal statutes, Enness could be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to 30 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 Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Independence, Mo., Police Department and the FBI CyberCrimes Task Force.


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