(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri)
Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Lee’s Summit, Mo., youth soccer coach pleaded guilty in federal court today to attempting to produce child pornography by secretly videotaping members of his soccer team.
Joel D. White, 40, of Lee’s Summit, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to three counts of attempting to produce child pornography.
White, who coached a girls under-12 soccer team and a girls under-15 soccer team through the Lee’s Summit Soccer Association, remains in federal custody. The Lee’s Summit Soccer Association has cooperated fully with law enforcement officers during this investigation.
White admitted that he videotaped 11 child victims without their consent while they were changing clothes in his daughter’s bedroom at his residence. White videotaped the child victims 10 to 15 times without their consent from approximately May 2012 until October 2012, when the victims were between 11 and 12 years of age. White also admitted that he touched one of the child victims on the breast with his hand and mouth while she was sleeping at his residence, and that he recorded this touching.
White is clearly identified in the videos setting up the camera and recovering the camera after the child victims leave the room. In one video, as White recovers the camera, he looks into the camera and gives himself two “thumbs up.”
Under Department of Justice guidelines, the attempted production of child pornography is ordinarily charged in cases that involve surreptitious recordings. The statutory penalties for producing child pornography are the same as the penalties for attempting to produce child pornography.
The investigation began when White was arrested for stealing in Commerce City, Colo. In March 2013 the soccer stadium in Commerce City was hosting a world cup qualifying game. Colorado authorities contacted White at the stadium when he was accused of stealing soccer-related items and merchandise from the stadium. Officers searched White as well as his backpack, camera, vehicle and hotel room. Officers located stolen items in White’s possession and in his hotel room and White was arrested for felony stealing. White’s cameras, computer and computer media were recovered during the course of the stealing investigation.
Detectives wanted to investigate the possibility that White was placing advertisements on sites such as “Craigslist” to sell the stolen items. They began reviewing the cameras and computer media and observed a video of a minor female changing clothes in what appeared to be White’s Lee’s Summit residence. Commerce City police officials then contacted the Lee’s Summit, Mo., Police Department to take the lead on the child pornography investigation.
Under federal statutes, White is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole on each of the three counts of conviction, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole on each of the three counts, plus a fine up to $250,000 on each count and an order of restitution. 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 Teresa A. Moore. It was investigated by the Lee’s Summit, Mo., Police Department and the Commerce City, Colo., Police Department.