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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/usao/mow/index.html


DECEMBER 8, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOD


FORMER GIRLS TRACK COACH PLEADS GUILTY

TO INTERNET CHILD PORN


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former girls track coach in Frontenac, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court today to attempting to receive child pornography over the Internet.


            Kurtis W. Neely, 32, of Raymore, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright to the charge contained in an Aug. 10, 2010, federal indictment. Neely was formerly employed as a track coach at St. Joseph Academy in Frontenac.


            By pleading guilty today, Neely admitted that he discussed sexually explicit matters in an Internet chat room with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, and that he masturbated on live webcam during the chat. In reality, Neely was communicating with an undercover Maryland Heights, Mo., Police Department officer.


            During a forensic examination of Neely’s computer, investigators identified a video of child pornography that was recorded during a live feed from an Internet chat room.


            Under federal statutes, Neely is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 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 Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Raymore, Mo., Police Department and the Mayville, 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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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/usao/mow/index.html