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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 30, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


MUSIC TEACHER INDICTED FOR CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a music teacher at two Kansas City-area schools has been indicted by a federal grand jury for possessing child pornography and receiving child pornography over the Internet.


            William Harold Laursen, 55, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged in a six-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Sept. 23, 2008. Laursen is a music teacher at Kansas City Academy in Kansas City, Mo., and at CS-1 Junior High School in Prairie Village, Kan. The indictment has been unsealed and made public; Laursen’s initial court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2008.


            The federal indictment charges Laursen with five counts of receiving child pornography over the Internet from Jan. 10, 2007, to Jan. 18, 2008. Laursen is also charged with one count of possessing child pornography on Feb. 28, 2008.


            The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Laursen to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including a computer and hard drive.


            Wood cautioned that the charges contained in this 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.


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/.


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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