News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

new charge against springfield man for sexual exploitation
of another child

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a former YMCA camp employee was indicted by a federal grand jury on an additional charge of using a second child to produce child pornography.

Matthew O’Dell, 28, of Springfield, Mo., was charged in a three-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011. The second superseding indictment replaces a superseding indictment that was returned on Oct. 14, 2009; the original indictment was returned on Sept. 15, 2009.

The second superseding indictment includes a new count of sexual exploitation of a child, as well as the original counts of sexual exploitation of a child and possessing child pornography.

The federal indictment alleges that between Jan. 1, 2005, and June 1, 2008, O’Dell used a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography.

The indictment also alleges that, between Jan. 1, 2005, and May 30, 2006, O’Dell used a second minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purpose of producing child pornography. The indictment also alleges that O’Dell was in possession of child pornography between July 24, 2008, and Aug. 4, 2009.

O’Dell, who was formerly employed at YMCA’s Camp Wakonda in Lawrence County, Mo., remains in federal custody. He is being detained without bond until his trial, which has been continued; a new trial date has not yet been scheduled.

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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Springfield, 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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