This blog features observations from Randy Turner, a former teacher, newspaper reporter and editor. Send news items or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Liberal man pleads guilty to child pornography charge
(From the U. S. Attorney for the Western District)
aALiberal, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.
Timothy Curless, 53, of Liberal, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet between Nov. 4, 2012 and April 19, 2013.
Curless originally pleaded guilty on Sept. 18, 2013, but later withdrew his guilty plea when he learned that his prior Kansas conviction for two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child would increase his mandatory minimum prison sentence from five years to 15 years. Curless pleaded guilty to the same offense today.
According to court documents, a law enforcement officer was conducting an undercover investigation into the distribution of child pornography by suspect(s) using file-sharing software. On two separate occasions the officer downloaded images of child pornography from Curless’s computer. Among those images were children who have not reached puberty and a child as young as three years of age. When officers executed a search warrant they learned that Curless had been using his neighbor’s wi-fi network in order to access the Internet.
Under federal statutes, Curless is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000. 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 James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.