SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Joplin, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for enticing a 15-year-old victim through social media to engage in illicit sexual activity.
Clinton Anthony Yeats, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 14 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Yeats to 15 years of supervised release following incarceration.
Yeats, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 23, 2021, admitted he engaged in an online relationship with the 15-year-old victim, identified in court documents as John Doe. They met through Grindr, a dating application, and communicated online for several months. They also used Snapchat and text messaging to communicate. Yeats solicited and received sexually explicit images of John Doe; Yeats also sent sexually explicit images of himself to John Doe. Yeats and the child victim discussed meeting in person to engage in sexual activity.
The investigation began on Jan. 9, 2020, when Snapchat reported four files that contained child pornography, which had been uploaded by Yeats the day before.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.
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.”
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