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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


OCTOBER 7, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PROJECT SAFE CHILDHOOOD


BAIL BONDSMAN INDICTED FOR PRODUCING

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY


            SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a bail bondsman from Kansas City, Mo., was indicted by a federal grand jury today for producing and possessing child pornography.


            Joseph Vanhorn, 69, of Kansas City, Mo., was charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Vanhorn is the owner of Victory Bail Bonds in Kansas City.


            Today’s indictment alleges that Vanhorn used a minor, identified as “Jane Doe,” to produce child pornography from Aug. 1 to Dec. 10, 2009. The offense allegedly occurred in McDonald County, Mo.


            Vanhorn is also charged with receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet from Aug. 1, 2009, to March 3, 2010. The offense allegedly occurred in Jackson County, Mo.


            The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Vanhorn to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including a desktop computer.


            Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bonner Springs, Kan., Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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