Four Area People Face Federal Child Pornography Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2009|
St. Louis, MO—Four St. Louis area people are facing charges involving child pornography, Acting United States Attorney Michael W. Reap announced today.
JOEL W. STEVENS, St. Louis City, was indicted by a federal grand jury late Thursday on one felony count of possession of child pornography. The indictment alleges that between January 1 and September 10, 2009, Stevens possessed multiple images containing child pornography on his computer. He is expected to appear in federal court early next week.
Earlier this week:
JOSEPH SCHMIDT, St. Louis, was sentenced Wednesday, December 2, to 46 months in prison for his April 23, 2008, possession of child pornography on his computer.
CHARLES EMMETT UNDERWOOD, St. Charles, Missouri, was sentenced Wednesday to 51 months in prison for possession of child pornography on his computer in May 2008.
ANTHONY RIZZUTI, St. Charles, Missouri, pleaded guilty Tuesday, December 1, to one felony count of possession of child pornography for his May and June 2008 possession of images containing child pornography. He is scheduled for sentencing February 19, 2010.
Each count of receipt and transportation of child pornography carries a penalty range of five to 20 years in prison; possession of child pornography carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.
These cases are brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
Reap commended the work performed on these cases by the St. Louis County and Maryland Heights Police Departments, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Regional Computer Crimes Education and Enforcement Group, and Assistant United States Attorneys Allison Behrens, Rob Livergood, and Carrie Costantin, who are handling the cases for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.