Missouri man handed 40-year prison sentence in child pornography case

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A West Plains, Mo., man received a federal court sentence for sexually exploiting a 13-month-old child and distributing child pornography.

Kenneth Howard Worthy, 48, received a 40-year federal prison sentence without parole from U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool. Post-incarceration, Worthy faces 15 years of supervised release. He must register as a sex offender upon release and comply with federal and state sex offender registration requirements, potentially for life.

On Dec. 6, 2022, a jury found Worthy guilty of sexually exploiting a child by producing child pornography and distributing it.

Investigators uncovered Worthy’s crimes during an inquiry into another child pornography case. This individual revealed Worthy had shared images of himself performing sexual acts with a child.

Law enforcement officers confronted Worthy at his home on March 4, 2021. He confessed to using a child, referred to as “John Doe” in court documents, under two years old to produce child pornography. He also admitted to sending pornographic images of the child to someone else.

Authorities seized Worthy’s cell phone, finding 10 child pornography images featuring John Doe and Worthy.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cameron Beaver, James J. Kelleher, and Ami Harshad Miller prosecuted the case. Homeland Security Investigations, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the West Plains, Mo., Police Department conducted the investigation.

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