Skip to main content
Press Release

Missouri Man Admits Raping Runaway Teen

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – A man from Mexico, Missouri on Thursday admitted repeatedly raping a 13-year-old runaway on a trip to Las Vegas.

Jacob D. Burney, 24, pleaded guilty in front of U.S. District Judge Henry E. Autrey to a charge of transportation of a minor to engage in a criminal sex act.

Burney admitted becoming involved in a relationship with a 13-year-old in 2021. Sometime before Dec. 8, 2021, the victim ran away from home to be with Burney. The teen was reported missing, and Homeland Security Investigations received a National Hotline Tip on Dec. 14, 2021 about the missing teen.

Burney switched vehicles and left Missouri to prevent law enforcement officers from finding the teen. They traveled first to Illinois and then to Las Vegas. During the trip, Burney provided drugs and alcohol to the teen and committed the crime of statutory rape repeatedly, he admitted in his plea agreement. 

Burney is scheduled to be sentenced April 12. The charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins is prosecuting the case.

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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, 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

Updated February 17, 2023

Project Safe Childhood