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Press Release

Eldon Man Sentenced to 15 Years for Child Sexual Exploitation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Traveled to North Carolina for Illicit Sex with Victim

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – An Eldon, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for traveling to North Carolina on five occasions to engage in illicit sexual activity with a child victim over a two-year period.

James Anthony Guthrie, III, 37, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 15 years in federal prison without parole.

On Nov. 27, 2018, Guthrie pleaded guilty to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. Guthrie admitted that he traveled to North Carolina on five occasions for work and, while there, met the then-15-year-old child victim at various hotels for sex. Guthrie admitted that he picked up the child victim from school or at her house; once, the victim’s father brought her to the hotel.

According to court documents, Guthrie met the child victim online when she was 14 years old. Guthrie engaged in sexual communications with her and groomed her by sending gifts, including jewelry, a cellular telephone, food delivery, a life-size teddy bear, shopping trips and nights in a hotel room. Guthrie manipulated the child victim and exploited the fact that others had abused her.

Guthrie also admitted that he communicated about sexual matters with the child victim and received pornographic images and videos from her. Investigators examined Guthrie’s laptop, hard drive and DVD-R disks, which contained images of child pornography. Guthrie admitted to communicating with other individuals he believed to be minors in a sexual manner, and to receiving self-produced pornographic images from 13-to-14-year-old children.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley S. Turner. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Lebanon, Mo., Police Department and the Lake Area ICAC Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood
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."

Updated May 14, 2019

Project Safe Childhood