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Missouri woman faces charges related to child pornography

A Missouri woman has been indicted on federal charges related to child pornography. Authorities have charged the woman with first degree promoting child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor. The allegations stem from an investigation conducted by authorities after the woman's estranged husband turned her in due to a photo he allegedly found in his wife's email.

That photo reportedly depicted a young child in a pornographic pose. After police received the photo from the woman's husband, she surrendered herself to authorities. Police officials further allege that the woman not only took photographs showing the nude three-year-old girl, but she thereafter sent them electronically to adult males who resided in various states.

According to Missouri police officials, the accused woman also confessed that she had molested that girl along with a two-year-old boy. Now, the woman is facing criminal allegations at the Missouri state level as well as at the federal level. Missouri law states that a person who is convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor could potentially face a prison term of up to 10 to 30 years.

State law also dictates a sentence of five to 15 years in prison in the event of a conviction on promoting child pornography charges. While these charges are certainly serious in nature, this woman should not be considered guilty simply because a federal grand jury has indicted her. Only if prosecutors manage to prove her guilty beyond a reasonable doubt will she be convicted of any criminal charges in state or federal court. This is not a foregone conclusion since the defendant is entitled to present a defense on her own behalf, and the burden of proof rests solely upon the government's figurative shoulders.

Source: News-Leader.com, "Nixa woman faces federal charges in child porn case," Rance Berger, Jan. 22, 2013

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