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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 2, 2017

Independence Man Faces Additional Charges of Child Sexual Exploitation

Six Children Victimized by Pornography, Obscenity

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that an Independence, Mo., man previously charged with producing child pornography has been indicted by a federal grand jury on additional charges of child sexual exploitation of five additional child victims.

Travis Howard White, 24, of Independence, was charged in an 11-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Thursday, June 1, 2017. The indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint filed against White on May 10, 2017.

White is charged with enticing a minor (identified as Minor Victim 1) to engage in illicit sexual activity from Feb. 5, 2016, to March 1, 2017. The indictment also charges White with two counts of using Minor Victim 1 to produce child pornography. White also is charged with two counts of transferring obscene material to Minor Victim 1, including numerous images depicting horses and dogs engaged in sexual activity with humans.

The indictment also charges White with one count of receiving child pornography over the Internet and five counts of transferring obscene material to a minor under the age of 16, which occurred from August 2016 to January 2017. These charges are related to five additional child victims.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, the investigation began when law enforcement agents learned 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.

Larson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, 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."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated June 2, 2017