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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Springfield Man Indicted for Child Porn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for receiving and distributing child pornography.

 

Michael V. Lucas, 31, of Springfield, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Lucas on Sept. 21, 2016. Lucas remains in federal custody without bond.

 

The federal indictment alleges that Lucas received and distributed child pornography from Jan. 1, 2016, to Sept. 22, 2016.

 

According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, a federal law enforcement agent in Phoenix, Ariz., encountered a person later identified as Lucas among the participants who were live streaming images and videos of child pornography over the Internet on Sept. 15, 2016. During the live streaming session, the affidavit says, Lucas claimed to have molested two 13- and 16-year-old victims and said he would attempt to broadcast a future sexual encounter with the victims.

 

Lucas was partially visible in a reflection during the live stream, the affidavit says. The federal agent engaged in two additional live streaming sessions that day in which Lucas allegedly participated and continued to share images and videos of child pornography.

 

On Sept. 19, 2016, according to the affidavit, Lucas was identified by the agent posting messages in a known pedophile group. These messages described the number of videos he possessed as well as advertising his new Skype group. Lucas was live streaming videos of child pornography, the affidavit says, and his reflection could be seen. Lucas also shared two links to a Dropbox account that contained images of child pornography, the affidavit says, and claimed that he was in possession of more than 1,000 videos of child pornography.

 

On Sept. 20, 2016, Lucas allegedly was live streaming and moved the position of the camera to show his face. Lucas allegedly also displayed a handgun and loaded magazine for the weapon during the course of the stream.

 

A federal law enforcement agent in Springfield executed a search warrant at Lucas’s residence on Sept. 22, 2016, and Lucas was arrested.

 

Dickinson cautioned that the charges contained in this indictments 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 Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by Immigration and Custom 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."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated September 28, 2016