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Press Release

Springfield Man Sentenced to 30 Years for Sexual Exploitation of Children

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 sexually abusing a child and taking sexually explicit photographs of his victim.

Anthony Cotter, 30, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to 30 years in federal prison without parole.

On June 18, 2018, Cotter pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing 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.

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

Updated October 5, 2018

Project Safe Childhood