Northland man indicted for producing child porn
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Kansas City, Mo., man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for producing child pornography.
Cory E. Stahl, 31, of Kansas City-North, was charged in a two-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Stahl’s arrest and initial court appearance. Stahl remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing. The indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed under seal on Jan. 20, 2011.
The federal indictment alleges that Stahl used a minor, identified as John Doe, to create child pornography on two separate occasions in August 2009.
According to court documents, Stahl was identified by a cooperating witness in Baltimore, Md., who provided information to the FBI. Stahl allegedly sent pornographic photographs of the minor victim to the cooperating witness in 2007 and continued to make offers to the cooperating witness to have sex with the minor victim during 2007 and 2008.
Stahl began sponsoring the minor victim through a local mentoring service in 2006, when the victim was approximately nine years old. The government’s motion for detention states that, as a mentor, Stahl was placed in a position of trust and interacted with the minor victim on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. The victim spent a great deal of time at Stahl’s home, the motion says, and was taken by Stahl on trips outside the Kansas City area and out of state. The mentoring program has discontinued Stahl as one of its sponsors.
Investigators discovered 72 pornographic images of the minor victim on a compact flash card that belonged to Stahl. Stahl was interviewed by federal agents about some of those images, according to the government’s detention motion. The next day, Jan. 20, 2011, Stahl was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 59 approximately five miles south of St. Joseph, Mo., when he crossed the center line and struck a southbound commercial truck. He sustained serious injuries and was taken to a St. Joseph hospital, then later transferred to KU Medical Center. During an inventory search of his damaged vehicle prior to tow, officers located a notebook that contained a possible suicide note, statements relating to the investigation and Stahl’s passport. Stahl was arrested today upon his release from the hospital.
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 Teresa Moore. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
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.