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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 6, 2013

Church Youth Leader Sentenced for Sexual Exploitation of Children

Project Safe Childhood

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Ava, Mo., man who volunteered as a church youth leader was sentenced in federal court today for enticing minors for illegal sexual activity.

Brent “Pete” Turley, 23, of Ava, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

On July 23, 2013, Turley pleaded guilty to using the Internet and a cell phone to attempt to entice a 14-year-old child victim to engage in illegal sexual activity. Turley, a youth leader at the church his victim attended, had been sending sexually explicit text messages. A law enforcement officer was using the child victim’s phone to investigate after the parents contacted authorities. Turley made arrangements with the undercover officer to meet the child victim at a local park, where he was arrested on March 19, 2012. Condoms were located in Turley’s pocket and a firearm was found in his truck.

Turley also pleaded guilty to a separate count of using the Internet and a cell phone to entice a second child victim to engage in illegal sexual activity. Turley admitted that he engaged in illicit sexual activity with a 15-year-old victim. Turley used Facebook text messages to arrange a meeting with the child victim at a softball field in Mansfield, Mo. During the meeting, which occurred in February 2012, the child victim performed oral sex upon Turley in his vehicle. The child victim was later interviewed at the Child Advocacy Center and confirmed Turley’s admission.

According to court documents, Turley also admitted to law enforcement officers that he took a third child victim, whom he believed to be as young as 12 years old (but who was actually 14 years old) to see the “Yogi Bear” movie at a theater in Mountain Grove, Mo., in late 2010 or early 2011. During the movie, Turley digitally penetrated the child’s vagina. The victim was later interviewed and confirmed the illicit sexual conduct.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

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 15, 2015