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Justice News

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Plato Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child

Project Safe Childhood


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Plato, Mo., man who initially confessed during a pre-employment polygraph examination when he applied for employment at the Missouri State Highway Patrol pleaded guilty in federal court today to using a minor victim to produce child pornography.

Cedric Lovejoy, 28, of Plato, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to the charge contained in an Oct. 1, 2013, federal indictment.

According to today’s plea agreement, Lovejoy participated in a pre-employment polygraph interview and examination conducted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol on Nov. 9, 2012. During the interview, Lovejoy confessed that he had taken video footage of himself receiving oral sex from the then-14-year-old victim. State troopers executed a search warrant at Lovejoy’s residence and seized his computers, which contained the child pornography video Lovejoy had taken with his cell phone.

Under federal statutes, Lovejoy 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 and an order of restitution. 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 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 . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."
Updated January 13, 2015