The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

May 9, 2013

Barton County man indicted in child-porn case

A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted a Barton County man for allegedly receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

Timothy Curless, 52, of Liberal, is accused of receiving and distributing illicit images via the Internet between Nov. 4 and April 19.

A criminal complaint was filed against Curless on April 22 based on an investigation by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force. The indictment handed up by a grand jury Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield replaces the complaint.

An affidavit filed with the court states that an officer with the task force conducting an undercover probe of the use of file-sharing software on the Internet downloaded images of child pornography twice from a single suspect’s computer. The images involved children who had yet to reach puberty, including one who appeared to be as young as 3 years old.

The downloads led to the execution of a search warrant that led to the charges against Curless. The affidavit states that the investigation showed that Curless had been using a neighbor’s Wi-Fi network to access the Internet.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of Missouri said in a news release that the indictment of Curless includes a forfeiture count that would require the defendant to forfeit to the government a desktop computer, two laptop computers, a hard disk drive, 69 compact discs, three flash drives and two floppy disks.

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