project safe childhood
joplin man indicted for producing child porn
Additional charges follow complaint for exploiting 4-year-old victim
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for producing child pornography, as well as receiving child pornography over the Internet and being in possession of child pornography.
Jason Dewayne Beshears, 29, of Joplin, was charged in a 14-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces an Aug. 16, 2011, criminal complaint that charged Beshears with videotaping his sexual exploitation of a 4-year-old victim in order to produce child pornography.
Today’s indictment alleges that Beshears exploited a minor victim over a one-year period to produce digital videos of child pornography. Beshears is charged with exploiting a minor to produce child pornography on Aug. 28, 2010, and on seven more occasions between May 5 and Aug. 9, 2011. Beshears is also charged with five counts of receiving child pornography over the Internet from July 26 to Aug. 20, 2010, and one count of possessing child pornography on Aug. 9, 2011.
The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Beshears to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including two laptop computer, an Apple iPhone and a digital camera.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Joplin police officers were called to Beshears’ apartment at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, in response to a complaint that a man found his 4-year-old daughter inside Beshears bedroom with the door shut. He removed his daughter and went to confront Beshears, the affidavit says, but when he returned to the room, Beshears was gone. Joplin police officers located Beshears about a block away and took him into custody.
Investigators conducted a forensic examination of Beshears’ laptop computer, the affidavit says, and found a large quantity of video files of various forms of sexual abuse being conducted by Beshears on the child victim, as well as numerous images of child erotica. The video files allegedly were downloaded to Beshears’ laptop from March 2010 to Aug. 9, 2011. Investigators also found more than 20 photos and three videos of sexual abuse being conducted by Beshears on the child victim, which the affidavit says were dated Aug. 9, 2011.
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 Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and the FBI.
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.