Joplin Man Involved in Day Care Operation Indicted for Child Pornography
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Joplin, Mo., man who lived in the same apartment where his girlfriend operated a daycare business was indicted by a federal grand jury today for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Kent G. Hagan, 52, of Joplin, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Hagan on Aug. 25, 2017. Hagan remains in federal custody without bond.
The indictment alleges that Hagan received and distributed child pornography over the Internet from Aug. 7 to Aug. 22, 2017.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, Hagan was living with his girlfriend, who operated an unlicensed day care at her residence. The police department received a tip on Aug. 21, 2017, that Hagan had images of child pornography on his cell phone. His girlfriend kicked him out of the residence, the affidavit says, but he had recently moved back in.
When law enforcement officers interviewed Hagan’s girlfriend, she told them that Hagan had stayed at her residence with the children when she was not present. She also told investigators that she has three minor children of her own and usually cares for four to six children at a time. Hagan’s girlfriend said she found “creepy” images of two young children she babysat for on Hagan’s cell phone and deleted them.
A forensic examination of Hagan’s cell phone found 809 images depicting children as young as toddlers in sexually provocative poses, 69 images that depicted anime child pornographic images and 11 images of suspected child pornography.
Larson cautioned that the charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, the Joplin, Mo., Police Department and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes 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."