Cassville Man Charged with Child Porn
Project Safe Childhood
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Cassville, Mo., man was charged in federal court today with receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Matthew Casas, 25, of Cassville, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Mo. Casas remains in federal custody.
According to an affidavit filed in support of today’s federal criminal complaint, a business in Monett, Mo., contacted the local police department when a customer who rented a smart TV notified them he discovered child pornography stored on the device’s memory. Law enforcement officers reviewed the images on the set, which were created by a digital camera and appeared to be homemade pictures of an adult male performing sexual acts on a female no older than 12 to 18 months. It did not appear the images had been obtained from the Internet.
In February 2014, officers received several cybertips from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a person was posting images of child pornography to online social media accounts. All of the images depicted children, from infancy to 10 years old, engaged in sexual poses or involved in sexual acts with an adult or each other. Several of the images from the TV were identical, or depicted other sex acts between the infant and adult male, with the images posted online. There were many more images posted online, including numerous images know to be commercially available and actively traded among child pornography collectors and viewers.
Investigators learned that those images were posted from a computer at Casas’s residence. Officers executed a search warrant at the residence on Feb. 28, 2014.
Dickinson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint 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 Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Monett, Mo., Police Department, the Cassville, Mo., Police Department and the Barry County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.
Project Safe ChildhoodThis 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."