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Press Release

Hartville Woman Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Producing, Distributing Child Porn

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
Project Safe Childhood

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Hartville, Mo., woman was sentenced in federal court today for using a minor to produce child pornography.

 

Chelese Penn, 25, of Hartville, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Penn to a lifetime term of supervised release following incarceration.

 

On June 11, 2015, Penn pleaded guilty to both counts contained in a Jan. 20, 2015, federal indictment. Penn admitted that she used a child, identified as Jane Doe #1, to produce child pornography between July 1, 2012, and Oct. 3, 2014. Penn also pleaded guilty to distributing child pornography over the Internet during that time.

 

The investigation began when undercover agents identified David Albert, 51, of Springfield, distributing pornographic images of an 11-year-old female over the Internet. Albert and Penn exchanged child pornography over the Internet. In a separate but related case, Albert was sentenced on Sept. 9, 2015, to 17 years and six months in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to the sexual exploitation of a child.

 

Penn will be required under the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) to register as a sex offender and keep the registration current in each of the jurisdictions where she resides, is employed and is a student.

 

This case was 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 Cyber Crime 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."

Updated October 22, 2015

Topic
Project Safe Childhood