A North Carolina man will spend life in prison without parole for the sexual exploitation of a child in Joplin, Missouri.
34-year-old David Lee Perkins of Winston-Salem, NC was sentenced today (Aug. 9, 2018) by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to life in prison. Perkins is also ordered to pay $6,325 in restitution to his victim.
On Jan. 18, 2018, Perkins was found guilty following a bench trial of crossing state lines into Missouri with the intent to engage in a sexual act with a child victim under the age of 12 from April 16, 2014, to Dec. 11, 2016.
Additionally, Perkins had already pleaded guilty on Jan. 3, 2018, to two additional counts contained in the Jan. 18, 2017, federal indictment. Perkins admitted that he used the child victim to produce child pornography and that he distributed child pornography.
Joplin police officers were dispatched to a local hotel where Perkins was staying on Dec. 11, 2016. A female acquaintance of Perkins told officers that she found several videos on an iPad of Perkins engaged in sexually explicit conduct with the child victim. Officers contacted Perkins in his hotel room and placed him under arrest.
Perkins told investigators he used his iPad and iPhone to photograph and create videos of the sexually explicit conduct he engaged in with the child victim in various hotels and motels in Joplin. Investigators found three video files on Perkins's iPad. Perkins shared those images and videos of child pornography with at least one other person by attaching them to text messages.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ami Harshad Miller and Nhan D. Nguyen. It was investigated by the Joplin, Mo., Police Department, the FBI, and the Newton, N.C., Police Department.
For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
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