SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A Carl Junction man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to transporting a minor from Kansas across state lines for sexual purposes.

Nathan R. Belcher, 29, pleaded guilty to the charge in U.S. District Court in Springfield and faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years without parole or up to a life term in a federal prison. A sentencing hearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush will be scheduled after completion of a sentencing investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

Belcher, who remains in federal custody pending sentencing, admitted in court that he transported a Kansas girl with a 2003 birthdate across state lines into Missouri in 2017, and engaged in sexual activity with her at a residence and near a creek outside Neosho, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Springfield.

The case was investigated by the Columbus (Kansas) Police Department, Cherokee County (Kansas) Sheriff's Department and the FBI.

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