Springfield Man Faces 30 Years in Prison for Sexual Exploitation of Children
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man has pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually abusing a child and taking sexually explicit photographs of his victim.
Anthony Cotter, 30, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush on Monday, June 18, 2018, to the sexual exploitation of children.
By pleading guilty, Cotter admitted that he received and distributed child pornography over the Internet. Cotter also admitted that he had a substantial amount of child pornography on his computer and cell phone.
Cotter told investigators he had been sexually abusing a minor female, identified in court documents as Jane Doe #1, and taking sexually explicit photographs of Jane Doe #1. Depictions of Cotter sexually abusing the child victim were recovered from his digital storage devices.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, Cotter will be sentenced to 30 years in federal prison without parole. 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 Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force.
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."