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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Duneweg Man Pleads Guilty to Sexually Exploiting 4-year-old Child, Faces at least 15 Years in Prison

Project Safe Childhood

 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Duneweg, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually exploiting a 4-year-old child to produce child pornography.

Tony Lasiter, 32, of Duneweg, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to the charge contained in an Oct. 1, 2013, federal indictment.

According to court documents, Lasiter used his cell phone to take nude photos of a 4-year-old child (identified in the indictment as “Jane Doe”) while she was in the bathtub and while she was lying in a bed with someone touching her in a sexual manner. Lasiter downloaded the photos to his laptop computer, then transferred the files to an SD card. The files were discovered when the victim’s father noticed the SD card in the computer and opened the files, according to court documents. The photos were taken in August 2013.

Under federal statutes, Lasiter is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

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."
Updated January 13, 2015