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Press Release

St. Louis County Man Gets 8+ Years on Child Pornography Charges

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

ST. LOUIS – A man from St. Louis County, Missouri who served as an administrator in an online meeting room where child sex abuse material was traded was sentenced Thursday to eight years and one month in prison.

U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp also ordered Michael Morales, 49, of Manchester, to pay $38,000 in restitution to victims who appeared in the pictures and videos.

Morales pleaded guilty in November to two felonies: receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. He admitted that he served as an administrator in a meeting room on the Kik social media app known for trading child sexual abuse material, and posted pictures and videos there in 2020. He also admitted possessing pictures and videos containing those materials on his cellphone.

The FBI and the St. Louis County Police Department investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang 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

Updated March 2, 2023

Project Safe Childhood