OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
MATT J. WHITWORTH
Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106
JUNE 24, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD
INDIANA MAN SENTENCED FOR ATTEMPTING
TO ENTICE MINORS FOR SEX,
DISTRIBUTING CHILD PORNOGRAPHY
TRAVELED TO INDEPENDENCE TO MEET MOTHER, CHILDREN
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Matt J. Whitworth, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Evansville, Ind., man was sentenced in federal court today for using the Internet to entice a minor for illicit sex and for distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Michael A. Stratton, 27, of Evansville, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple this morning to 10 years in federal prison without parole.
On Jan. 29, 2009, Stratton pleaded guilty and admitted that he traveled to Independence, Mo., to meet a person whom he believed was a mother who was going to make her two children available to him for illegal sexual activity.
Stratton contacted an undercover Independence police officer, whom he believed to be the mother of an 8-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl, on July 10, 2008, in an Internet chat room. During that conversation, Stratton sent the undercover officer two videos that contained child pornography and bestiality.
On July 16, 2008, Stratton again contacted the undercover officer, sending photos of child pornography and bestiality. During these chats, Stratton spoke about sexual activities with the undercover officer’s children.
Stratton contacted the undercover officer again on July 17, 2008, and made arrangements to travel from Indiana to meet in Independence. When Stratton arrived at the meeting location that evening, he was arrested by Independence police officers.
Law enforcement officers have identified five children with whom Stratton planned sexual meetings in Texas and North Carolina. Stratton had scheduled an eight-day visit to Texas to meet with a mother he met online to have sex with her children and her sister’s children (including a 2-year-old child). Stratton also planned to meet a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, telling officers he was waiting until she turned 16 so she could drive and “run away from her mother.”
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia L. Cordes. It was investigated by the Independence, 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.
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