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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 6, 2015

Former Restaurant Owner Indicted for Child Porn

Project Safe Childhood

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the owner of a now-closed Oronogo, Mo., restaurant has been indicted by a federal grand jury for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

 

Jerry Batchelor, 51, of Carthage, Mo., was charged in an indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., on April 1, 2015. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Batchelor’s arrest and initial court appearance.

 

Batchelor was the owner of Benchwarmer’s Neighborhood Restaurant and Sports Pub in Oronogo. The federal indictment alleges that Batchelor received and distributed child pornography over the Internet between Aug. 10, 2012, and April 4, 2014.

 

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

 

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated April 6, 2015