Friday, December 09, 2022

Government recommends 12-year sentence for Noel man on child porn charge, but says he deserves more

A sentencing memorandum filed today in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri recommends a 151-month sentence for a Noel man charged with child pornography crimes- but says he should be in prison much longer than that.

The memo provides plenty of points in Quinton McNeely's favor.

-He has no criminal history

-He has a loving family.

-He has a high school diploma and is employable.

-He shows no indication of having any addictions or mental health issues

Still, the government is recommending a term that is near the top level of the sentencing guidelines, because there is more to Quinton McNeely, 28, than what his record shows, the memo indicates.

McNeely came to the attention of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, when it received three tips from one of the social networking platforms he was using, which included 303 child pornography images and eight videos in one account.

McNeely admitted to investigators that he received and distributed the child pornography and "admitted to fantasizing about sexually abusing children."

McNeely's computers contained an additional 802 images and 814 videos and the investigation unearthed text messages he sent in which he described how he would like to violently rape children and described in graphic detail what he would do to them.

In one conversation, the defendant’s chats indicated that he had sexually assaulted a least one child. He discussed luring the victim over with candy and (offered violent description of what he would do) ultimately raping her.

Despite the nature of his conversations, the defendant denied having any sexual contact with any children. Law enforcement attempted to locate any children that lived near the defendant, but the children that matched the description in the defendant’s messages had moved away and were unable to be located or interviewed.

If the defendant is to be taken at his word, which the Government is not convinced that the defendant was entirely truthful regarding whether he has had sexual contact with children, this violent rhetoric certainly causes much concern about the safety of the community if the defendant is free. 

An individual who fantasizes about violently raping children is a clear and present danger to children and vulnerable adults. The defendant’s words indicate that nonconsensual sexual contact, even if it necessitates violence, is always an option for the defendant. 

The shame and secrecy that surrounds sexual abuse, especially for children, only intensifies the risk the defendant poses. A person who believes he is entitled to have violent sexual contact with anyone must be incapacitated, and there is no treatment for entitlement.

In this case, the memo says, the very factors that work to McNeely's favor in sentencing prove why even the recommended sentence is inadequate.

However, the fact that the defendant had all the resources available to him, and the ability to be a productive, law-abiding citizen, it is clear that he chose to engage with some of the most repulsive communities and consume content depicting horrific sexual abuse perpetrated on children as young as toddlers, all for his own sexual gratification. 

His history and characteristics only aggravate the nature of his offense. The defendant’s privileged background, in combination with the content he was consuming and the messages he was sending, demonstrate that the defendant is an entitled individual who lacks empathy. He puts his own pleasure above all else, even if that comes at great harm to some of the most vulnerable in our society.

McNeely's sentencing is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, December 20, in Springfield.

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