News and Press Releases

Joplin man charged with exploiting 4-year-old victim
to produce child porn videos

August 16, 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man was charged in federal court today with videotaping his sexual exploitation of a 4-year-old victim in order to produce child pornography.

Jason Dewayne Beshears, 29, of Joplin, was charged with one count of using a minor to produce child pornography in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo. Beshears remains in federal custody.

According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s criminal complaint, Joplin police officers were called to Beshears’ apartment at about 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2011, in response to a complaint that a man found his 4-year-old daughter inside Beshears bedroom with the door shut. He removed his daughter and went to confront Beshears, the affidavit says, but when he returned to the room, Beshears was gone. Joplin police officers located Beshears about a block away and took him into custody.

Investigators conducted a forensic examination of Beshears’ laptop computer, the affidavit says, and found a large quantity of video files of various forms of sexual abuse being conducted by Beshears on the child victim, as well as numerous images of child erotica. The video files allegedly were downloaded to Beshears’ laptop from March 2010 to Aug. 9, 2011. Investigators also found more than 20 photos and three videos of sexual abuse being conducted by Beshears on the child victim, which the affidavit says were dated Aug. 9, 2011.

Phillips cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Oliver. It was investigated by the FBI, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

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

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