Kansas National Guard Soldier Pleads Guilty to Sexual Exploitation of a Child

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Chanute, Kansas, man serving with the Army National Guard pleaded guilty in federal court today to sexually exploiting an 11-year-old southwest Missouri victim to produce child pornography.

Christian Sinclair, 21, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of the sexual exploitation of a child.

By pleading guilty today, Sinclair admitted that he used a minor to produce child pornography from Aug. 1, 2020, through June 15, 2021.

According to today’s plea agreement, a captain in the Kansas National Guard contacted the Sierra Vista, Arizona, police department on June 15, 2021, while his unit was deployed to Arizona. The captain reported that Sinclair, one of the soldiers in his command, was sexting an 11-year-old child in Missouri. Sinclair’s fiancée had reported to the captain earlier the same day that she had screenshots between herself and Sinclair in which Sinclair admitted to “cheating” on her with an 11-year-old child.

The child victim told investigators that she had sent Sinclair multiple pornographic videos and images of herself via Snapchat at Sinclair’s request. Sinclair admitted that he also sent pornographic images of himself to the child victim via Snapchat.

Under federal statutes, Sinclair is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. 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 Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by the FBI, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the Lamar, Mo., Police Department, the Sierra Vista, Arizona, Police Department, and the Chanute, Kan., 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.”