News and Press Releases

springfield man pleads guilty to producing child porn;
faces at least 25 years in prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually exploiting children by taking photographs of two minors as they engaged in various sex acts.

William Baker, 39, of Springfield, pleaded guilty on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge James C. England to the charge contained in a Dec. 17, 2009, federal indictment.

By pleading guilty, Baker admitted that he used two minors, identified as 14-year-old Jane Doe and 16-year-old John Doe, to produce child pornography. Baker showed an adult pornographic video and provided alcoholic beverages to the minors on Jan. 9, 2009, then used a digital camera to take photographs of the pair engaging in a variety of sex acts. Investigators discovered 114 photographs of the two minors on both the camera and downloaded onto Baker’s computer.

Due to a prior felony conviction of sexual abuse, Baker is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence 25 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 50 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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.

Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), 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 to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

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