August 12, 2014

Lenexa Man Pleads Guilty to Child Exploitation

KANSAS CITY, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Lenexa, Kan., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to attempting to entice a 12-year-old child to engage in prostitution and criminal sexual activity after being caught in an undercover sting operation.

John J. McCarthy, 24, of Lenexa, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to one count of attempting to entice a minor over the Internet for prostitution and criminal sexual activity.

By pleading guilty today, McCarthy admitted that he communicated with a woman he believed to be the mother of two minor females, ages 12 and 16, and expressed interest in having sex with her daughters. While he was in the state of Kansas, McCarthy sent messages through a social networking site and subsequent e-mail and text messages to make arrangements with this woman (who was, in fact, an undercover detective with the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department) to meet and discuss the opportunity to have sex with her children.

On July 29, 2013, McCarthy traveled to Missouri and met with the undercover detective. He told her that he wanted the 12-year-old girl first and described all of the sex acts he desired to perform on and with her. McCarthy agreed to pay $50.

The next day, McCarthy traveled to Missouri again, to a location where he believed the woman and her daughters lived. McCarthy gave the undercover detective $60, and the undercover detective restated the sex acts that McCarthy had previously said he desired to perform with the 12-year-old girl. When McCarthy attempted to enter the bedroom where he believed the 12-year-old girl was located, he was placed under arrest.

Under federal statutes, McCarthy is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. 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 Patrick D. Daly. It was investigated by the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department and the FBI in conjunction with the Human Trafficking Rescue Project.