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Justice News

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

Friday, December 14, 2018

Springfield Tutor Sentenced to 30 Years for Sexual Abuse of 10-year-old Student

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield, Mo., man who worked as a private tutor was sentenced in federal court today for sexually assaulting a former 10-year-old student.

John Paul Sparapani, 30, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough to 30 years in federal prison without parole, which is the maximum statutory penalty for this offense. The court also sentenced Sparapani to a lifetime of supervised release following incarceration.

On Feb. 21, 2018, Sparapani pleaded guilty to using a minor to produce child pornography. He admitted that he took pornographic photos of a student he was tutoring in a private room at a public library.

This investigation began when an officer with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force identified Sparapani’s computer as sharing child pornography on a peer-to-peer file-sharing network on May 25, 2015.  Officers executed a search warrant at Sparapani’s residence on Dec. 21, 2015, and seized two laptop computers, three hard drives and a cell phone, which contained multiple images and videos of child pornography.
    On August 25, 2017, a 12-year-old minor female disclosed that Sparapani had sexually assaulted her when she was 10 and 11 years old and had taken photographs of the assault with his cell phone.  The child victim disclosed that the sexual abuse occurred while she was being tutored by Sparapani in a private room at a public library.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the FBI, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force 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 . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Project Safe Childhood
Updated December 14, 2018