A Grandview resident is facing more than a dozen years behind bars after he pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the internet. Robert Shepherd, 40, a registered sex offender, admitted to the federal offense on Wednesday. Shephered was arrested after a computer technician discovered at least one image of child pornography on his laptop, according to a press release from the office of United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. Officers later reported finding two videos of child pornography on Shepherd’s other computers.
He is facing a minimum of 15 years in prison without parole and a maximum sentence of 40 years. Shepherd is expected to be sentenced following an investigation by the United States Probation Office.
Press Release from the Office U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Grandview, Mo., man who is a registered sex offender pleaded guilty in federal court today to receiving child pornography over the Internet.
Robert E. Shepherd, 40, of Grandview, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple to the charge contained in a Nov. 27, 2012 federal indictment.
Shepherd was on state parole at the time of the federal offense after being convicted on state charges of statutory rape and statutory sodomy in Cass County in 2000 and of statutory sodomy in Clay County in 1999. He absconded from state parole during the federal criminal investigation and was a fugitive from justice for almost four years. Shepherd was arrested at the Mexican border and his parole revoked in December 2011, for which he served a year in state prison before being indicted and taken into federal custody.
Shepherd brought his laptop computer to a computer repair facility in April 2008. Approximately a week later, a technician at the facility discovered at least one image of child pornography on the computer. The technician notified law enforcement officers, who retrieved the computer and obtained a search warrant for Shepherd’s residence. Officers seized additional computers and electronic media at Shepherd’s residence. Two videos of child pornography were discovered on the computers.
Due to his prior convictions of abusive sexual conduct involving a minor, Shepherd is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 40 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham. It was investigated by the Grandview, Mo., Police Department and the Lee’s Summit, Mo., Police Department.
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.”