Springfield Man Sentenced to 60 Years for Producing 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 for sexually exploiting two children to produce child pornography.
Ronald Mazza, 34, of Springfield, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 60 years in federal prison without parole.
Mazza pleaded guilty to two separate counts of using two children, identified as “Jane Doe” and “John Doe,” to produce child pornography between Aug. 1 and Dec. 1, 2013. Mazza also pleaded guilty to one count of receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Mazza was arrested on Dec. 3, 2013, when his wife reported to the Springfield, Mo., Police Department that she found images of child pornography on his computer. When officers arrived at their residence, she showed them images of a three-year-old victim and a five-year-old victim on Mazza’s computer. As the officers were in the process of seizing the computer, Mazza arrived at the home and was immediately placed under arrest. He has remained in federal custody without bond since his arrest.
According to court documents, investigators discovered approximately 432 images and 61 videos depicting child pornography, including the sexual exploitation of infants, on Mazza’s computer. Five videos and 53 images contained sexually explicit depictions of the two victims that Mazza produced. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has reported that Mazza’s images of those victims have been recovered in multiple unrelated child pornography investigations, indicating that those images are now circulating the Internet.
Mazza also faces state charges in Greene County Circuit Court for three counts of statutory sodomy, three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of statutory rape, one count of sexual misconduct involving a child, one count of promoting child pornography and 13 counts of possessing child pornography.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and 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.”