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PRESS RELEASE: Clinton Man, Benjamin A. Bowers, Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Porn

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Clinton Man Pleads Guilty to Distributing Child Porn

Project Safe Childhood

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Clinton, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to distributing child pornography over the Internet.

Benjamin A. Bowers, 27, of Clinton, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to the charge contained in an April 15, 2015, federal indictment.

By pleading guilty today, Bowers admitted that he shared images of child pornography over the Internet using a peer-to-peer file-sharing network.

Law enforcement officers from the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol were conducting an investigation into peer-to-peer networks that shared child pornography online. In November 2013, they downloaded multiple images of child pornography that were being shared from Bowers’s computer.

Officers with the Clinton Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol executed a search warrant at Bowers’s residence on Dec. 10, 2013, and seized several items, including computers and external components. Examiners discovered approximately 7,699 photos and 177 videos that contained child pornography, as well as 3,032 images of child erotica, on his computers and related media. The content includes depictions of toddlers and prepubescent minors.

Under federal statutes, Bowers is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 20 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Luna. It was investigated by the FBI, the Clinton, Mo., Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Clay County, Mo., Sheriff’s 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.

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