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project safe childhood

pastor sentenced for child porn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Duenweg, Mo., pastor was sentenced in federal court today for possessing child pornography.                                                              

Michael Alan Crippen, 53, of Duenweg, was sentenced by  U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to three years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Crippen to serve a term of 20 years of supervised release following his incarceration.

On July 20, 2011, Crippen, the pastor at First Baptist Church in Duenweg, pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. Crippen admitted that on August 23, 2009, he downloaded 10 images of child pornography from a Web site. He also admitted that he had viewed images of adult and child pornography on the Internet for several years.

According to court documents, Crippen was identified during an investigation by the Dutch National Police into a Web site in The Netherlands that contained child pornography. Europol provided information to federal agents in the United States, who identified Crippen=s computer as one that downloaded child pornography.

Law enforcement officers contacted Crippen at his residence on Oct. 13, 2010, and seized his laptop and desktop computers. Crippen told agents that he had deleted images of adult and child pornography earlier in the day to his recycle bin on his laptop computer and prayed for God to intervene with his pornography problem. More than 300 images of child pornography were located in the unallocated clusters of his laptop computer, including images of children under 10 years of age.

This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc.  For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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