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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Springfield Man Sentenced for Child Porn

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

 

David D. Lerssen, Jr., 34, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to eight years in federal prison without parole.

 

On June 28, 2016, Lerssen pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography. Lerssen was arrested following an investigation into the use of a peer-to-peer file-sharing network to distribute child pornography. Lerssen’s computer was identified as distributing child pornography and law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at his residence.

 

According to court documents, Lerssen had more than 876 files containing child pornography, with victims ranging in age from toddlers to 17 years old, including prepubescent children engaged in bondage or sadistic conduct. Lerssen had a large amount of child pornography on multiple devices. He used multiple mediums and Web sites to not only view child pornography, but to receive and distribute it. Lerssen admitted to viewing child pornography for the past five years.

 

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FBI.

 

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: 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated November 15, 2016