Independence Man Charged with Producing Child Pornography
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Independence, Mo., man has been charged in federal court with producing child pornography.
Travis Howard White, 24, of Independence, was charged in a criminal complaint filed under seal in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The complaint was unsealed and made public upon White’s arrest and initial court appearance this afternoon. White remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.
The federal criminal complaint alleges that White used a 13-year-old victim to produce child pornography between May 14 and June 2, 2016.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the investigation began when law enforcement agents learned the victim, identified in court documents as Minor Victim 1, was living with White. She told investigators that she met White online in January 2016, when she was 13 years old and living in Kansas. They began “sexting” and exchanging sexually explicit nude photographs, she said. When she and her mother moved to Kansas City, Mo., in September 2016, they stayed at a hotel for a few days before her mother returned to Kansas and left her with White. The victim was placed in emergency police protective custody on March 1, 2017.
Investigators found numerous Facebook messages between White and the victim. Their conversations were of a sexual nature, the affidavit says, including instructions from White to the victim about what sorts of pictures to take and what sort of activity to engage in. The victim allegedly sent White several sexually explicit images of herself, the affidavit says, and White in turn sent her a nude image of himself. White also sent the victim approximately three dozen images depicting horses and dogs engaged in the sexually explicit abuse of females of varying and indeterminate age, according to the affidavit.
White told investigators he engaged in sexual activity with the victim at numerous locations in the metropolitan area, the affidavit says. White said he engaged in similar sexual discussions with approximately “50 to 100” other females, a number of whom were underage, via Facebook and other means. To date, investigators have identified approximately a dozen underage females with whom White has engaged in sexually explicit chat and online communications.
Larson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."