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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


APRIL 1, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


EDWARDS MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO PRODUCING

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Edwards, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually exploiting a child to produce child pornography.


             James Ray Starling, 46, of Edwards, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England this afternoon to the charge contained in a July 26, 2007, federal indictment.


             Starling admitted that he used a 13-year-old girl with whom he was living to produce child pornography from Sept. 5 to Oct. 8, 2006. Starling admitted that he engaged in sexual activity with the 13-year-old girl and that he took pornographic pictures.


             By pleading guilty today, Starling also agreed to forfeit to the government two computers, a digital camera, a cellular telephone and a film camera that were used to commit the offense.


            Under federal statutes, Starling 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. 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 Randall D. Eggert. 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, 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