KANSAS CITY—David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Missouri man was sentenced in federal court today for producing child pornography.
Cory E. Stahl, 33, of Kansas City-North, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to 30 years in federal prison without parole.
On February 4, 2011, Stahl pleaded guilty to using a minor (identified as John Doe), with whom he had a relationship through a volunteer mentoring organization, to create hundreds of images of child pornography.
Stahl began sponsoring the minor victim through a local mentoring service in 2006, when the victim was 9 years old. As a mentor, Stahl was placed in a position of trust and interacted with the minor victim on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. The victim spent a great deal of time at Stahl’s home and was taken by Stahl on trips outside the Kansas City-area and out of state.
A cooperating witness in Baltimore, Maryland told FBI agents that Stahl sent pornographic photographs of the victim to him over the Internet. The cooperating witness was arrested by FBI agents in September 2010 for distributing child pornography and provided the agents with information about Stahl.
When federal agents visited Stahl’s home in January 2011, they located a pornographic photograph of the victim on Stahl’s computer and seized his computer equipment, storage devices and camera media. Investigators conducted a forensic examination and found 740 pornographic images of the victim, some of which were taken in Stahl’s apartment. Among those images were 30 photographs of Stahl and the victim engaged in sexually explicit conduct with each other, which were created in 2008 when the victim was 10 years old.
Two days after Stahl was first interviewed by federal agents about some of the pornographic images, he was traveling northbound on U.S. Highway 59 approximately five miles south of St. Joseph, Mo., when he crossed the center line and struck a southbound commercial truck. He sustained serious injuries and was life-flighted to a St. Joseph hospital. During an inventory search of his damaged vehicle prior to tow, officers located a notebook that contained a possible suicide note, letters apologizing for his behavior that contained suicidal references and admissions of guilt, and Stahl’s passport.
After Stahl was released from the hospital, while on bond in this criminal case, the FBI learned that he was attempting to contact the victim. A warrant was issued for his arrest for violating the conditions of his bond. At the time of his arrest, Stahl was in possession of a thumb drive that contained multiple images of child pornography in addition to numerous nonpornographic images of the victim. Stahl admitted to using a computer in violation of his pretrial release conditions.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore. It was investigated by the FBI and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. 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.”