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Justice News

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Liberal Man Sentenced for Child Porn

Project Safe Childhood


SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Liberal, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for receiving child pornography over the Internet.

Matthew W. Splitter, 25, of Liberal, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to seven years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Splitter to pay $2,000 in restitution to one of the victims portrayed in the child pornography images.

On March 11, 2014, Splitter pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet.

According to court documents, an officer with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force identified Splitter’s computer as distributing and receiving child pornography over the Internet through a peer-to-peer file-sharing program. A search warrant was executed at Splitter’s residence on Oct. 5, 2011, and his computer was seized. A forensic examination of the computer revealed 62 videos of child pornography and 493 images of child pornography. The images involved a child as young as 1 to 2 years of age. Court documents describe a large number of “hideous and violent” images that involve young children being raped by adults, bondage and animals.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Milligan. It was investigated by Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Joplin, 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