News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

ava man sentenced to 18 years for transporting
a minor for illicit sex

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Ava, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for transporting a minor across state lines for illicit sex.

Shane Jay Fleetwood, 42, of Ava, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to 18 years and four months in federal prison without parole.

Fleetwood pleaded guilty on March 16, 2011, interrupting a jury trial that had started the day before.

Evidence introduced on the first day of the trial indicated that Fleetwood met the victim’s family at a church near Ava and Fleetwood’s daughter befriended the victim. The victim’s parents allowed Fleetwood, a professional truck driver, to take the victim, who was 15 years old at the time, on a weekend trip to Kansas with he and his daughter in February 2010. However, they later learned that Fleetwood’s daughter didn’t accompany them on the trip.

Fleetwood’s victim testified at trial that she and Fleetwood engaged in sexual intercourse in his semi-truck during their trip to Kansas, as well as at Fleetwood’s residence after their return. The victim’s parents confronted her about the relationship after they discovered a Valentine’s Day card and letter that Fleetwood had given his victim.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Wright County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Douglas County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations and the Joplin, 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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