April 28, 2015

Springfield Man Sentenced for Child Pornography

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 as the result of a child pornography investigation that began in Australia.

Joshua Ryan Clark, 27, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 11 years and eight months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Clark to pay $3,000 in restitution to his victims.

On Jan. 26, 2015, Clark pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography. According to court documents, Clark actively traded child pornography via e-mail, including depictions of prepubescent children (as young as three years old) engaged in all manner of sexual activity. Clark directly contacted other pedophiles via e-mail and text; Clark claimed in a chat with another pedophile that he had sodomized a 12-year-old victim (which the government has not been able to corroborate) and expressed a desire in another message to rape a child.

Law enforcement officers in Australia discovered several e-mail messages from Clark to a resident of Queensland, Australia, to which Clark had attached images of child pornography – one message contained 100 images of child pornography.

An FBI agent in Springfield received a 16 GB thumb drive from Yahoo! that contained the contents of Clark’s e-mail account, including 2,264 depictions of child pornography. Clark admitted that he used the e-mail account to trade child pornography with numerous individuals beginning in 2006 or 2007.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by 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.”