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Kansas City man guilty of making child pornography

A 70-year-old Kansas City man will spend at least 15 years in prison for producing child pornography.

According to court records, the man, took sexually explicit photos of a 12-year-old girl from August to December 2009 at a trailer in Noel, Missouri. Prosecutors alleged the man gave the girl marijuana and alcohol, in addition to producing child pornography.

The man, a former bail bondsman, stood trial in Springfield, Missouri. He opted to have a judge hear his case rather than a jury. After hearing testimony from both sides, the judge convicted the man of producing child pornography on Feb. 13, 2012.

In December 2009, the girl told an assistant principal at her school about the pictures and police officers began investigating, according to court records. When they searched the man's Kansas City home, they found pictures of the girl in sexually explicit poses on the man's computer.

The man's attorney's claimed the girl's mother helped arrange the photo shoots, so she could blackmail the man. In a November 2011 court filing, the attorney wrote that the FBI intercepted text messages from the girl's mother.

In the messages, she allegedly asked the man to give her the title to roughly $55,000 worth of property. She allegedly indicated that if the man refused, she would reveal he had been taking pornographic pictures of her daughter.

Federal prosecutors said the mother's role in the process was not relevant to the man's case. The question before the court was whether the man took pornographic pictures of the child, not whether her mother encouraged the girl to participate.

Under federal law, the conviction carries a guaranteed prison sentence of at least 15 years behind bars.

People charged with a sex crime like child pornography often face a social stigma, whether or not they are guilty. Such charges can negatively impact an individual's reputation within their family and community. Allegations can even affect an individual's career. Individuals who are facing any type of criminal charge need someone in their corner to ensure their side of the story is told and their rights are protected every step of the way.

Source: The Kansas City Star, "KC man convicted of taking pornographic photos of girl, 12," Mark Morris, Feb. 14, 2012

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