SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Liberal, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Timothy Curless, 52, of Liberal, 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 Curless on April 22, 2013.
Today’s indictment alleges that Curless received and distributed child pornography over the Internet between Nov. 4, 2012 and April 19, 2013.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, a law enforcement officer was conducting an undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography by suspect(s) using file-sharing software. On two separate occasions the officer allegedly downloaded images of child pornography from Curless’s computer. Among those images, the affidavit says, were children who have not reached puberty and a child as young as three years of age. When officers executed a search warrant, the affidavit says, they learned that Curless had been using his neighbor’s wi-fi network in order to access the Internet.
The indictment also contains a forfeiture count, which would require Curless to forfeit to the government a desktop computer, two laptop computers, a hard disk drive, 69 CDs, three flash drives and two floppy disks.
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 the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime 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."