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Press Release

Missouri Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography

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

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Wednesday sentenced a man who produced and received child pornography involving three victims to 50 years in prison.

After a bench trial in May, Judge Ross found William Dahl, 39, of Audrain County, Missouri, guilty of one count of producing child pornography and two counts of receiving child pornography. Judge Ross’ findings of fact said Dahl photographed himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl. He later emailed those images to others. Dahl also received a video of a 16-year-old and a pornographic image of a 7-year-old, the ruling says. 

On Wednesday, Judge Ross told Dahl the evidence was “clear, convincing and overwhelming about your guilt.” 

The investigation began one of the victims and her family contacted authorities. A subsequent investigation by the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team uncovered more victims.

Dahl met the first victim when she was 13 and he was nearly 23. A second victim met Dahl when he was 36 and she was 16. He bought her a cell phone, alcohol and vaping pods and they exchanged nude pictures. The third victim was 7 at the time of the offense. Dahl’s co-defendant, Jennifer Huddleston, admitted taking photographs of herself sexually abusing the sleeping girl and sending them to Dahl. Huddleston and Dahl were in an on-and-off relationship since 2008.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang said during the hearing that 18 years have passed since Dahl began to prey on female children, and he has been “consistent in trying to seek out and sexually exploit children” during that time.

Judge Ross ordered Dahl’s prison sentence to run consecutive to any sentence he receives for six pending cases in Audrain County Circuit Court and Randolph County Circuit Court.

Judge Ross sentenced Huddleston, 35, in October to 179 months in prison. Huddleston pleaded guilty in May to one count of production of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.

The cases were investigated by the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team and Donya Jackson, an investigator with the U.S. Attorney’s office at the time. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colleen Lang and Amy Sestric prosecuted 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 www.justice.gov/psc.

Contact

Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer, robert.patrick@usdoj.gov.

Updated December 6, 2023

Topic
Project Safe Childhood