A guilty plea was heard in federal court today in the case of an Independence man.  According to the United States Attorney for the Western District, Morgan Littleton, 33, used a 12-year-old female to create child pornography and, according to the victim, had been molesting her once or twice a week for more than a year.

The crime came to light after an adult female living in Littleton’s home found several memory cards that contained video of him engaging in illicit sexual activity with the child.

Sentencing will be scheduled following the completion of an investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Press Release:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Independence, Mo., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to using a child victim to produce child pornography.

Morgan Littleton, 33, of Independence, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Gary A. Fenner to the charges contained in a June 11, 2014, federal indictment.

By pleading guilty today, Littleton admitted that he used a child victim to produce child pornography on two separate occasions in January 2013.

On April 29, 2013, an Independence police officer responded to a call related to a domestic assault. The officer contacted a woman who told him Littleton had grabbed and squeezed her throat, slammed her against the wall, and slapped her three times in the face because there was no sugar for his coffee. She also told the officer that several hours before the assault she had accidentally discovered evidence that Littleton was having a sexual relationship with a 12-year-old female, identified as Jane Doe.

The woman reported that she found several SD memory cards in a black canvas bag that belonged to Littleton. One of the cards contained a video of Littleton engaged in illicit sexual activity with the child victim. She did not report this immediately because Littleton did not allow her to use the phone or leave the residence. After the domestic assault, she convinced Littleton to allow her to walk to the store for more sugar. He agreed to let her go and she took Jane Doe with her to a convenience store. Once at the store she asked the store manager to contact the police.

Police officers executed a search warrant at Liddleton’s residence (where he resided with three adult women, Jane Doe, and another minor female) and seized computers, cameras and digital media. They found 12 video segments on a memory card, some of which appeared to have been filmed in a hotel room between Jan. 18 and March 25, 2013. The videos depicted Littleton engaging in illicit sexual activity with Jane Doe. In a forensic interview, the child victim reported that Littleton had been molesting her once or twice a week since November 2012. He sometimes promised her food if, or would not allow her to see her friends unless, she engaged in illicit sexual activity.

Today’s plea agreement has no bearing on Littleton’s pending state prosecution.

Under federal statutes, Littleton is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole, on each of the two counts of producing child pornography. 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 Teresa A. Moore. It was investigated by the Independence, 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.”