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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 15, 2014

Stella Man Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison for Transporting a Minor for Illicit Sex

Project Safe Childhood

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Stella, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for transporting a minor across state lines for illicit sex.

Tong Yang, 46, of Stella, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Greg Kays to 13 years in federal prison without parole.

Yang, who pleaded guilty on May 1, 2014, admitted that he traveled to Minnesota to pick up a 15-year-old girl and bring her back to Missouri on Dec. 7, 2013, with the intent to engage in illicit sexual activity.

Yang had contacted the minor victim a couple of weeks earlier by sending her a friend request on Facebook. Yang talked to her about coming to live with him in Missouri and told her he owned his own business. The minor victim went to her mother’s house to retrieve some clothing on Dec. 6, 2013, and while there, she asked Yang to come get her. She snuck out and met with Yang in front of her mother’s house the next day, and they drove to a hotel in Neosho, Mo., where they engaged in unprotected sex.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Cassville, Mo., Police Department and the Neosho, Mo., Police 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."
Updated January 13, 2015