An employee of the West Plains, Missouri, R-7 School District was charged in federal court with soliciting children to send him sexually explicit photos and videos through Snapchat and Instagram.
Cody Ashton Ary, 29, of West Plains, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Springfield, Missouri, with one count of producing child pornography. Ary is employed with the West Plains R-7 School District as a paraprofessional and commonly assists with special need students.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the federal criminal complaint, Instagram initiated a CyberTip with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on Dec. 3, 2019, after Ary allegedly uploaded a sexually explicit video of an 8-to-10-year-old boy to his account. Investigators found a total of 92 chat conversations between Ary and other Instagram users. According to the affidavit, Ary used the screen name “15anime_boy” and identified himself as a 15-year-old male to other users. He allegedly solicited sexually explicit videos and images from other users who identified to be minor males. Ary allegedly received dozens of images and videos of child pornography through his Instagram account. Ary asked the child victims to send him videos and images of them stripping, the affidavit says, in exchange for Ary providing Internet links to folders that contained child pornography.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Ary’s residence today, where he was arrested.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the West Plains, Mo., Police Department, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.