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Press Release

Muscatine County Man Sentenced to Twenty Years in Prison for Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Iowa

Des Moines, IA – A Muscatine County man was sentenced Friday, April 7, 2023, to twenty years in prison following his guilty plea for Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Child.

According to court documents, from February 2022 to September 2022, David Franklin Duncan III, 33, used cellphones and Facebook to communicate with a person he believed to be a fifteen-year-old child. During the conversations, Duncan attempted to employ, use, persuade, entice, or coerce the person he believed to be a child to capture and send Duncan images and videos of the child engaged in sexually explicit conduct, to travel to Duncan’s location or meet him at an agreed location for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct, and to engage in commercial sex acts. Duncan also sent images and videos of his penis and of him masturbating. Unbeknownst to Duncan, the person he was communicating with was an undercover law enforcement officer.

Following his prison term, Duncan must also serve a ten-year term of supervised release. There is no parole in the federal system.

United States Attorney Richard D. Westphal of the Southern District of Iowa made the announcement. The Altoona Police Department, in conjunction with the Iowa Crimes Against Children Task Force, investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Kyle Essley prosecuted the case.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In 2006, the Department of Justice created Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from exploitation and abuse. Led by the U.S. Attorney’s Offices and the Department of Justice’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children, as well as identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


MacKenzie Tubbs
Public Information Officer 

Updated April 10, 2023

Project Safe Childhood