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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 29, 2016

Sedalia Sex Offender Pleads Guilty to Child Porn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Sedalia, Mo., sex offender pleaded guilty in federal court today for possessing child pornography.

 

Jesse William Laws, 37, of Sedalia, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to the charge contained in a July 15, 2015, federal indictment.

 

Laws was required to register as a sex offender due to two 2006 federal convictions in the District of Montana for receiving and possessing child pornography, for which he was sentenced to nine years in federal prison. Following incarceration, Laws was placed on supervised release, which was transferred to the Western District of Missouri.

 

According to today’s plea agreement, the probation office searched Laws’s residence on Feb. 11, 2015, because Laws was suspected of having violated certain conditions of his release. Laws admitted that he had been drinking and that he had been in the presence of children without the permission of the probation office, which were both in violation of his supervised release. The court revoked his supervised release and sentenced him to two years in federal prison without parole.

 

Probation officers examined a cell phone while they were searching the residence. Investigators found 107 possible images of child pornography on the phone. The browser history revealed multiple visits to a child pornography Web site.

 

Under federal statutes, Laws is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole, which must be served consecutively to the two-year sentence he is currently serving for the revocation of his supervised release. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 Lawrence Miller. It was investigated by the U.S. Office of Probation and Parole and the FBI.

Topic: 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated August 29, 2016