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Press Release

Joplin Sex Offender Indicted for 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 today that a Joplin, Mo., man who is a registered sex offender has been indicted by a federal grand jury for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

Donnie Ray Sumner, 43, of Joplin, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Tuesday, July 23, 2013.

The federal indictment alleges that Sumner received and distributed child pornography over the Internet between July 1, 2012, and Jan. 21, 2013. The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require Sumner to forfeit to the government any property used to commit the alleged offense, including a desktop computer and a laptop computer.

Sumner is a prior sex offender with a 2001 conviction for possessing child pornography. Under federal statutes, a conviction would therefore result in a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to 40 years in federal prison without parole.

Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes 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 . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."
Updated January 16, 2015