The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 20, 2012

Carthage man sentenced to life for sexual exploitation of child

From staff reports

— Todd Christopher Smith, 41, of Carthage, was sentenced Thursday to life in federal prison with no possibility of parole for the sexual exploitation of a child.

Smith was sentenced by District Judge Richard Dorr in U.S. District Court in Springfield, according to a statement from David Ketchmark, acting U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Officers with the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department responded to Smith’s residence on Sept. 27, 2011, after receiving a report that he had slapped a minor female. In the course of their investigation, officers reportedly found evidence of Smith’s sexual abuse of several child victims. Officers also discovered six videos on Smith’s cellphone that allegedly depicted him engaged in sex with the child victim. According to Ketchmark’s office, there also were 12 videos that appear to have been taken covertly in the bathrooms in Smith’s residence that depict the child victim as well as five other minors.

On Aug. 17, 2012, Smith was found guilty of using a minor to create child pornography.

According to Ketchmark’s office, Smith was sentenced as a repeat and dangerous sex offender against minors based on his previous convictions for sexual misconduct in Missouri and for criminal sexual abuse in Illinois. Both convictions involved minors, according to Ketchmark’s statement.

The case was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI.