SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Duneweg, Mo., man has been charged in federal court with sexually exploiting a 4-year-old child to produce child pornography.
Tony Lasiter, 31, of Duneweg, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo., on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Lasiter used his cell phone to take nude photos of a 4-year-old child while she was in the bathtub and while she was lying in a bed with someone touching her in a sexual manner. Lasiter allegedly downloaded the photos to his laptop computer, then transferred the files to an SD card. The files were discovered on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013, the affidavit says, when the victim’s father noticed the SD card in the computer and opened the files. The photos allegedly were taken on three separate occasions between Aug. 13 and 28, 2013.
Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint 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 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Duneweg, Mo., Police Department, the Sarcoxie, Mo., Police Department and the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff’s 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."