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Press Release

Man who took sexually explicit photos of thirteen year old victim receives over 29 year sentence

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Iowa
Sent the photos to an online user, who was an undercover law enforcement officer, in an attempt to “impress”

A man who took sexually explicit photographs of a thirteen-year-old victim and distributed the photographs to an undercover officer online, was sentenced today to more than 29 years in federal prison.

Joshua Baird, age 40, from Anthon, Iowa, received the prison term after a guilty plea to sexual exploitation of a child.

At the guilty plea, Baird admitted that, in February of 2021, he knowingly photographed a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct with his cellular telephone.  Evidence at the sentencing hearing showed he later distributed these photographs to an undercover officer online because he thought they would “impress” her.  Baird also engaged in an inappropriate online relationship with a teenager in Australia.  At the sentencing hearing, Baird referred to his sentence as a “court ordered spiritual retreat” and further stated he was “excited” to be in prison.

Baird was sentenced in Cedar Rapids by United States District Court Judge C.J. Williams.  Baird was sentenced to 354 months’ imprisonment.  He must also serve a five-year term of supervised release after the prison term.  There is no parole in the federal system.       

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse.  Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit  For more information about internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “resources.”

Baird is being held in the United States Marshal’s custody until he can be transported to a federal prison.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Liz Dupuich  and investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. 

Court file information at

The case file number is 21-cr-2012-CJW.

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Updated January 21, 2022

Project Safe Childhood