News and Press Releases

project safe childhood

church youth leader pleads guilty
to sexual exploitation of children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Norwood, Mo., man who volunteered as a church youth leader has pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of enticing minors for illegal sexual activity.

Brent “Pete” Turley, 22, of Norwood, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Tuesday, July 23, 2013, to the charges contained in a July 24, 2012, federal indictment.

Turley pleaded guilty to using the Internet and a cell phone to attempt to entice a child victim to engage in illegal sexual activity. A law enforcement officer was using the child victim’s phone to investigate after the parents contacted authorities. Turley made arrangements with the undercover officer to meet the child victim at a local park, where he was arrested on March 19, 2012.

Turley also pleaded guilty to a separate count of using the Internet and a cell phone to entice a child victim to engage in illegal sexual activity. Turley admitted that he engaged in illicit sexual activity with a 15-year-old victim.

Under federal statutes, Turley is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. 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 Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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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