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Press Release

Missouri Man Admits Recording Sex Acts with Minors

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

CAPE GIRARDEAU – A man from Wayne County, Missouri on Tuesday admitted making recordings of his sex acts with minors. 

Tony Ray Waites, 46, of Piedmont, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of sexual exploitation of a minor. He admitted that in March of 2022, an 11-year-old boy reported that Waites had sexually abused him on several occasions and that he believed that Waites had filmed the abuse. A court-approved search of Waites’ home discovered electronic devices that contained videos of Waites abusing that victim, Waites’ plea says. There were also videos depicting nine other boys. Some were abused by Waites, others were filmed naked.

Waites is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 6, 2024. The charge carries a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of 30 years. 

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Koester 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


Robert Patrick, Public Information Officer,

Updated November 7, 2023

Project Safe Childhood