In a case that began with an arrest made in Canada, a federal grand jury this week indicted a local man on charges that he sexually exploited three Jasper County girls for the purpose of producing child pornography.
Jake E. Patterson, 26, is accused of producing pornographic images of two girls believed to be between 3 and 5 years old and a 12-year-old girl, and sharing the images with another man in Canada.
A federal grand jury in Springfield has charged Patterson, who has lived in both Rogersville and Joplin in recent years, with three counts of sexual exploitation of a child and a fourth count of receiving and distributing via the internet or social media.
According to a probable-cause affidavit filed in the case by an officer with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, a detective constable in Waterloo, Canada, arrested a man named Daniel Bergsma in June when a search warrant served on his home turned up two cellphones containing Snapchat conversations in which images of child pornography were shared.
Bergsma had recorded the conversations he had with the other Snapchat user who went by the handle “Casting_Cloud95” and the username “jakerbaker1995.”
In those conversations, Casting_Cloud95 sent Bergsma pornographic images of two girls between the ages of 3 and 5 to whom he claimed to have access, according to the the affidavit.
Through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and Snapchat, the detective was able to obtain the phone number and email address of the suspect who shared the images with Bergsma and contacted authorities in Missouri.
An investigator with the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force used that information to locate the Facebook account of Patterson on which a Jasper County woman had posted a comment about a picture of a dog that he had posted. The investigator looked up her Facebook account and found a picture that showed a couch and coffee table that matched furniture that could be seen in the background of images of the 12-year-old girl.
The investigator spoke with the woman, and she confirmed that the photos had been taken in the living room of her home and also was able to provide the identity of the girl.
The investigators then contacted Patterson at his workplace in Rogersville and confronted him with the evidence of his involvement. The affidavit states that he admitted to producing the images of all three girls.