project safe childhood
carthage man indicted for receiving, possessing child porn
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Carthage, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for receiving and possessing child pornography.
Christopher M. Messick, 19, of Carthage, was charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo.
Today’s indictment alleges that Messick received child pornography over the Internet between Jan. 21 and Feb. 8, 2011. Messick is also charged with possessing child pornography during that time.
The federal indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Messick to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offenses, including a laptop 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 Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Carthage, 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.