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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Springfield Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child

Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to the sexual exploitation of a 14-year-old victim.

Jared Neal Gonzales, 25, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to one count of using a minor to produce child pornography.

By pleading guilty today, Gonzales admitted he was in a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl. Gonzalez also admitted they used a cell phone to record themselves having sexual intercourse. On at least two occasions, at Gonzales’s request, the child victim used her cell phone to send him videos of the couple engaged in sexual intercourse.

Under federal statutes, Gonzales is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. 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 Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by the FBI and the Springfield, 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."

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 8, 2022