News and Press Releases

operation safe childhood

jury convicts booneville man of producing child porn,
faces at least 15 years in prison

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 8, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Boonville, Mo., man was convicted by a federal jury today for using an 8-year-old minor at a local hotel to produce child pornography.

Matthew Lee Klopfenstine, 34, of Booneville, was found guilty of the charge contained in a July 28, 2011, federal indictment. Klopfenstine was immediately taken into custody.

Evidence during the trial indicated that Klopfenstine and two other adult men took sexually explicit photographs of the child victim while staying at a Booneville motel.

The investigation into Klopfenstine began when federal agents executed a search warrant at the Troy, Mo., home of Michael P. Martin, a friend of Klopfenstine, on Sept. 19, 2009. During the search of Martin’s home, agents located a number of computer hard drives that contained numerous images of child erotica and child pornography, including pornographic images of the child victim. More than 130 photographs were taken at a Super 8 Motel in Booneville, and most depicted the victim. The photos also depicted Klopfenstine, Martin, and Jose C. Garcia of Chicago, Ill.

Martin and Garcia traveled to Booneville, accompanied by the child victim, to meet Klopfenstine on June 9, 2009. Martin rented the room using Garcia’s credit card. Among the images recovered by federal agents at Martin’s home were nude photos of the child victim and photos of the child victim in the hot tub with Martin. Some of the photos were taken by Klopfenstine. In several images, Klopfenstine is shown nude in the bathtub and is masturbating. Garcia and Klopfenstine were both involved in taking the photographs.

Martin and Garcia have been convicted of child exploitation offenses in separate cases in the Eastern District of Missouri and the Northern District of Illinois, respectively.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City deliberated for about five hours over two days before returning the guilty verdict to U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey, ending a trial that began Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011.

Under federal statutes, Klopfenstine is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 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 Jim Lynn. It was investigated by 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.

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