In October 2012 the Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit began an investigation into the downloading of child pornography.
Investigators determined that a computer from a residence in Unionville, Mo. was linked to the investigation.
During the investigation several computers were seized and the examination of those computers provided additional information about possible victims from this residence. Images of child pornography were discovered and investigators identified multiple children who appear to be victims of sexual abuse. After months of investigation, interviews, and computer forensics this case was brought to trial.
Kenneth Shumate, 33 of Unionville, MO, was convicted during a bench trial in Gentry County, where his case was heard on a change of venue from Putnam County. The case was prosecuted by the Missouri Attorney General's Office and the Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney John Young.
The defendant was convicted of one count of sexual exploitation of a child, three counts of statutory sodomy in the 1st degree, two counts of statutory rape in the 2nd degree and 6 counts of statutory sodomy in the 2nd degree. This is 12 of 15 charges brought against Shumate.
On October 25, 2013 Kenneth Shumate was sentence to 15 years for one of count sexual exploitation of child which is a class B Felony, 5 years for each two counts of statutory rape in the 2nd degree which is a class C Felony, 5 years for each 6 counts of statutory sodomy which is a 2nd degree class C Felony, a life sentence for each of the 3 counts of statutory rape which is a 1st degree unclassified Felony. Sentences are to be served consecutively.
The Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit, along with the Putnam County Sheriffâ€™s Office, conducted numerous interviews and examined numerous electronic devices during this investigation. Forensic interviews for all of the children involved were conducted.
The KRCCU and this investigation are made possible from funds provided in part from the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and funds from Cyber Crime Grants through the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The KRCCU has been in existence since 2006 and does both proactive and reactive cases for 13 counties in Northeast Missouri. In addition to cases like this one the KRCCU provides educational presentations to adults and children on the topics of Cyber Safety and Internet Crimes.
Other agencies assisting on this investigation include Putnam County Juvenile Office, Putnam County Division of Social Services, Macon County Division of Social Services, Iowa Department of Human Services, STAT (State Technical Assistance Team) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.