JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Jefferson City, Mo., man has been indicted on charges related to child pornography.
Ben Joseph Hilkemeyer, 32, of Jefferson City, was charged in a two-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City on Dec. 20, 2017. The indictment was unsealed today and made public upon Hilkemeyer’s arrest and initial court appearance. Hilkemeyer remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.
The federal indictment alleges that Hilkemeyer received and distributed child pornography from Jan. 29 to Sept. 7, 2017. The indictment also charges Hilkemeyer with being in possession of child pornography on Sept. 7, 2017.
According to court documents, Hilkemeyer possessed more than 50 videos depicting child abuse, including one video that was more than an hour and 37 minutes long, as well as more than 6,000 images of child abuse. These images and videos depict pornographic content of infants and toddlers, the depiction of sexual violence including the rape and molestation of infants and toddlers and bestiality images involving prepubescent children engaging in sexual activity with animals. The majority of the images and videos were located on a USB drive, which was hidden in a ski glove.
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 Ashley S. Turner. It was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri State Technical Assistance Team and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.
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."