News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

west plains man sentenced to 12 years in prison
for receiving child porn over the internet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 28, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a West Plains, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for receiving child pornography over the Internet and for possessing child pornography.

Scott Allen Johnson, 26, of West Plains, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Greg Kays to 12 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Johnson to pay $5,000 in restitution to two of the victims portrayed in the images of child pornography (or $3,000 in restitution if the amount is paid within 30 days). Johnson, who pleaded guilty on Jan. 17, 2013, must also forfeit to the government the laptop computer that was used to commit the offenses.

An officer with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force identified Johnson’s computer as sharing images of child pornography on a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on Dec. 30, 2011. The officer connected with Johnson’s computer on the network again on Jan. 9, 2012 and was able to determine that he had 322 files available for sharing, of which 139 were identified as known files depicting child sexual abuse. Officers executed a search warrant at Johnson’s residence on Feb. 9, 2012 and seized a laptop computer, four computer towers and 42 optical media disks.

Investigators found approximately 219 images and 46 movie files of child pornography on the laptop computer. The ages of the child victims ranged from 2 to 12, and the images depicted scenes of sexual intercourse, oral sex, anal sex, child bondage, bestiality and nudity. 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Randall D. Eggert. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force (SWMCCTF), the Cassville, Mo., Police Department and the Howell County, Mo., Sheriff’s 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 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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