News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

exeter man sentenced to 15 years in prison for child exploitation;
brother awaits sentencing for child porn

October 20, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Exeter, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for sexually exploiting a child to produce child pornography.

Stephen Bee, 34, of Exeter, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to 15 years in federal prison without parole.

On June 21, 2011, Bee pleaded guilty to exploiting a child victim to produce child pornography on Sept. 5, 2010.

His brother and co-defendant, Nicholas Bee, 23, also of Exeter, pleaded guilty on Aug. 23, 2011, to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet between Oct. 1, 2008, and Oct. 7, 2010.

Under federal statutes, Nicholas Bee is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to 15 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 Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

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

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