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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BETH PHILLIPS


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.justice.gov../index.html


MAY 21, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


SEX OFFENDER SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS

FOR CHILD PORN


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Everton, Mo., man with prior sex convictions has been sentenced for possessing, distributing and receiving child pornography over the Internet.


            Robert Hoffman, 65, of Everton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner on Monday, May 17, 2010, to 30 years in federal prison without parole.


            Hoffman, who was previously convicted of four counts of raping a child, pleaded guilty on Nov. 16, 2009, to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet and to possessing child pornography between June 28 and Sept. 28, 2009.


            Hoffman engaged in an online chat on June 28, 2009, with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old child, but who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer in Virginia. Hoffman sent images of child pornography to the undercover officer on several occasions during online chats. Officers executed a search warrant at Hoffman’s residence on Sept. 28, 2009, and seized his computer equipment. That equipment has been forfeited to the government, including four computers, a hard drive and a web cam.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Dumfries, Va., 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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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

http://www.justice.gov../index.html