Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

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

Monday, June 24, 2013

Joplin Man Sentenced to 50 Years in Prison for Producing Child Porn

Project Safe Childhood


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Joplin, Mo., man has been sentenced in federal court for producing child pornography.

Jason Dewayne Beshears, 31, of Joplin, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple on Friday, June 21, 2013 to 50 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Beshears to pay $10,000 in restitution to his victim, and sentenced Beshears to spend the rest of his life on supervised release after completing his prison term.

On Sept. 6, 2012 Beshears pleaded guilty to eight counts of producing child pornography. Beshears admitted that he exploited a minor victim over a one-year period to produce digital videos of child pornography. Beshears is charged with exploiting a minor to produce child pornography on Aug. 28, 2010 and on seven more occasions between May 5 and Aug. 9, 2011.

Joplin police officers were called to Beshears= apartment at about 10 p.m. on Aug. 9, 2011 in response to a complaint that a man found his 4-year-old daughter inside Beshears’s bedroom with the door shut. Beshears was taking pictures of the child. Her father removed her from the room went back to confront Beshears, but when he returned to the room, Beshears was gone. Joplin police officers located Beshears about a block away, attempting to leave in a taxi, and took him into custody. Beshears admitted to officers that he had sexually assaulted the 4-year-old child and had previously filmed this type of activity.

More than 600 images of child pornography were recovered from Beshears’s digital media. Investigators conducted a forensic examination of Beshears= laptop computer and found a large quantity of video files of various forms of sexual abuse being conducted by Beshears on the child victim, as well as numerous images of child erotica. The video files were downloaded to Beshears= laptop from March 2010 to Aug. 9, 2011. Investigators also found more than 20 photos and three videos of sexual abuse being conducted by Beshears on the child victim, which were dated Aug. 9, 2011, on his Panasonic digital camera.

Beshears must forfeit to the government two laptop computers, an Apple iPhone and a digital camera that were used to commit the offenses.

This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and 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."
Updated January 16, 2015