Poplar Bluff man pleads guilty to federal child porn charges - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Poplar Bluff man pleads guilty to federal child porn charges

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David Lee Cathey (Source: Cape Girardeau County Jail) David Lee Cathey (Source: Cape Girardeau County Jail)

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - The United State's Attorney's Office announced Monday that a Butler County man pleaded guilty to felony child pornography charges.

David L. Cathey, 62, of Poplar Bluff, Mo. pleaded guilty to two counts of producing child pornography before U.S. District Judge John A. Ross, at the Rush H. Limbaugh Sr. Courthouse in Cape Girardeau.

Cathey now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison on each count and/or a $250,000 fine, as well as a life-time term of supervised release. Sentencing has been set for Dec. 16 in Cape Girardeau.

With his plea, Cathey admitted that over a period of several years he took photographic images of two minor females whom he caused to engage in sexually explicit conduct. Both children were less than 12 years old when Cathey started taking photographs.

Cathey stored some of the sexually explicit images on a compact disc. The images of the children were discovered when he sold his computer and failed to remove the compact disc containing the photographs.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood. In Feb. 2006, the Department of Justice launched Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative designed to protect children from online exploitation and abuse.

Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better find, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the internet, as well as identify and rescue victims.

For more information, you can click here to visit Project Safe Childhood online.

The Poplar Bluff Police Department, Butler County Sheriff's Department, Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are commended for their efforts to prosecute this case.

Assistant United States Attorney Abbie Crites-Leoni handled the prosecution for the government.

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