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Press Release

Springfield Man Sentenced to 20 Years for Sexual Exploitation of a Child

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for the sexual exploitation of a child.

Ryan Lee Christoph, 26, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 20 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Christoph to spend the rest of his life on supervised release following incarceration.

On June 27, 2018, Christoph pleaded guilty to the sexual exploitation of a child.

On Aug. 15, 2017, Springfield police officers responded to a report that an individual had found Christoph and a 14-year-old female engaged in sexual activity. The victim told investigators that she and Christoph had been in a sexual relationship since before Christmas 2016.

On Oct. 20, 2017, Facebook reported that child pornography was being exchanged by Christoph and the same child victim in chat sessions in Facebook Messenger between May 7 and Aug. 11, 2017. Images and videos depicted Christoph engaged in sexual activity with the child victim. During the messages, Christoph asked the child victim to send him sexually explicit pictures and videos. Investigators located numerous video files of child pornography that depicted the child victim and Christoph engaged in sexually explicit activity.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

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 . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Updated October 23, 2018

Project Safe Childhood