News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

springfield man pleads guilty to child exploitation,
faces at least 15 years in prison

May 1, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to the sexual exploitation of a minor.

Ezra Robert Gramm, 39, of Springfield, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charge contained in an Oct. 3, 2012 federal indictment.

By pleading guilty today, Gramm admitted that he made contact with the 13-year-old victim, identified as “Jane Doe,” via an Internet chat room in late 2009. Gramm and the child victim engaged in online chat sessions and exchanged text messages with one another. During the course of this interaction, Gramm asked Jane Doe to take sexually explicit photographs of herself and transmit the photographs to him.  Jane Doe complied with his request.

Gramm’s cell phone was seized by law enforcement officers and found to contain multiple images of Jane Doe engaged in sexually explicit conduct. Jane Doe was interviewed and acknowledged taking the digital images of herself and transmitting them to Gramm at his request.

Under federal statutes, Gramm is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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 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 . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

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