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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


NOVEMBER 19, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


FORMER NORTHLAND EMT SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS

FOR PRODUCING 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 was sentenced in federal court today for producing child pornography, distributing child pornography over the Internet and possessing child pornography.


             Toby L. Rice, also known by his online name, “babysitting_uncle,” 34, of Blue Springs, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs this morning to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Rice to pay $5,600 in restitution to his victim. Following his release from prison, Rice will be subject to supervised release for the rest of his life.


             “This defendant sexually exploited a young girl under his care and then shared photos of that exploitation with other sexual predators over the Internet,” said Wood. “Those photos may be circulating in cyberspace for many years, continuing to victimize this child. Today’s tough sentence will help protect other children in our community from falling prey to a similar fate.”


             On April 18, 2008, Rice pleaded guilty to using a 5-year-old girl whom he was babysitting in his home to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. Rice distributed one of those photographs over the Internet to at least two other individuals, and distributed multiple images of additional child pornography among a group of individuals, between April 1 and Aug. 10, 2007. Rice also admitted that he was in possession of child pornography on Aug. 24, 2007.


             Rice was advertising on Craigslist, offering himself as a babysitter for more children. Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Rice's residence on Aug. 24, 2007, and recovered a Kodak digital camera, which had multiple images of the 5-year-old girl.


            This case was 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, 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