News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

tulsa man sentenced to 20 years for transporting a minor for sex

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 12, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Tulsa, Okla., man was sentenced in federal court today for transporting a minor across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity.

Christopher Virden, 26, of Tulsa, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to 20 years of federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Virden to pay $8,559 in restitution immediately, and up to $10,000 for future counseling for his victim. Following incarceration, Virden will be under supervised release for 20 years.

Virden pleaded guilty to a federal indictment on March 4, 2011. Virden picked up a 14-year-old McDonald County, Mo., girl after school on Nov. 5, 2010, and transported her to his apartment in Tulsa, where they engaged in sexual intercourse.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations, the McDonald County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force, the Broken Arrow, Okla., Police Department and the Tulsa, Okla., 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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