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Press Release

Former Teacher's Assistant Pleads Guilty to Child Pornography

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Faces 12 Years in Prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former teacher’s assistant at a Buffalo, Mo., elementary school pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving child pornography.

Dalton Cole Sherman, 20, of Buffalo, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charge contained in a Dec. 8, 2015, federal indictment.

Sherman was a teacher’s assistant at the DA Mallory Elementary School in Buffalo at the time of the offense. School officials contacted law enforcement officials on June 11, 2015, and reported that a pen camera had been located in a bathroom used by teachers and children. The pen camera was behind a standup mirror in the bathroom and had a light on the camera. Sherman, who had been going in and out of the bathroom for unknown reasons, was detained and transported to the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department for questioning.

Sherman admitted he placed the pen camera in the bathroom on top of some plastic totes and behind the mirror that morning. Sherman checked the camera two times, turning it off and on. Sherman stated he transferred the videos to his Nook tablet to watch them at home.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Sherman’s residence on June 18, 2015. Investigators found several videos on the pen camera that depict 5-to-6-year-old children using the toilet. Investigators also found 90 images of child pornography, which had been downloaded from the Internet, on Sherman’s Nook tablet.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, if accepted by the U.S. District Court Judge, Sherman will be sentenced to 12 years in federal prison without parole and a lifetime term of supervised release following incarceration.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Dallas County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, the Missouri State Technical Assistant Team, and the FBI.

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 June 13, 2017

Project Safe Childhood