U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri
(816) 426-3122
January 21, 2015

Noel Man Sentenced for Possessing Massive Child Pornography Library

SPRINGFIELD, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Noel, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for possessing what is described in court documents as a massive library of child pornography.

Edward S. Hetherington, 55, of Noel, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Beth Phillips to eight years and one month in federal prison without parole.

On Aug. 12, 2014, Hetherington pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography. Hetherington admitted that on March 12, 2013, there were images and videos of child pornography on his computers.

According to court documents, Hetherington’s criminal conduct occurred over a time span of 25 years, during which he amassed more than 100,000 images of sexual violence against children.

At the time of his arrest, Hetherington was in possession of a massive amount of child pornography. Law enforcement officers discovered eight external storage hard drives connected to his computer, which were full of images and videos of child pornography. Hetherington’s library of child pornography, which dates back as far as 1989, was organized into various categories that described the various acts of violence perpetrated against the children. Based on the evidence obtained, Hetherington possessed one of the largest and most extensive libraries of child pornography ever uncovered by agents with the Southwest Cyber Crimes Task Force.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the FBI, the Southwest Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Cassville, Mo., Police Department and the McDonald County, Mo., Sheriff’s 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 www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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