U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri
(816) 426-3122
February 17, 2015

Springfield Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Child Pornography Offenses

SPRINGFIELD, MO—Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Springfield, Mo., man who was part of a nationwide e-mail network was sentenced in federal court today for receiving and distributing child pornography.

Joseph Allen High, 44, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 17 years in federal prison without parole.

On Sept. 17, 2014, High pleaded guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

High’s e-mail address was discovered by federal agents in Illinois during an investigation into a national e-mail network that exchanged child pornography among its members. More than 1,000 individuals utilized their e-mail accounts to trade images of child pornography with one another. Agents determined that High had received 17 videos and 72 images of child pornography between Dec. 17, 2012, and Feb. 16, 2013. The videos included children as young as three or four years old, and children being sexually assaulted by adults.

According to court documents, High sexually abused an eight-year-old girl on multiple occasions. Agents discovered Internet images of the child victim, clothed and asleep, by typing High’s e-mail address into the Google search engine.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney. It was investigated by the FBI 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 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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