Columbia Man Charged with Child Porn in Federal Court
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Andrew Capps, 20, was arrested by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cybersecurity Task Force for sharing sexually explicit images of children via Facebook Messenger. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children warned the Cybersecurity Task Force of Capp’s activities after receiving a tip from Facebook. The FBI assisted with the investigation. According to KOMU, Capps admitted to storing “thousands of images and videos of child pornography” on his phone, and later said to officers that he was “so addicted to child pornography, he would be better off dead.” His case is pending trial.

From a legal standpoint, there is absolutely no protection afforded to individuals caught with sexually explicit images of children. Possession, distribution, and even the viewing of sexually explicit images of children is illegal. It is even illegal for law enforcement officers investigating these cases to view sexually explicit images of children—they use artificial intelligence software, rather than an actual person, to identify and investigate images found on the internet. Social media companies have been charged with the duty to track and investigate illegal images and videos that surface on their platforms. They, too, use artificial intelligence to identify, track, and investigate these images and videos.

Any individual caught with sexually explicit imagery of children, also known as child pornography, faces severe criminal penalties. In these cases, it is not uncommon for alleged offenders to see harsh prison sentences and court-mandated sex offender registration orders. Even after a lengthy prison sentence, an individual may still be required to register as a sex offender in Missouri. With all the potential penalties in mind, if an individual is charged with the possession or distribution of child pornography, it is in that individual’s best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. The State of Missouri does not take these cases lightly, and you do not want to face these charges without an experienced defense attorney by your side.