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Army National Guardsman, former youth director at Fort Leonard Wood pleads guilty to child sexual abuse

Army National Guard 1st Sgt. David McKay pleaded guilty Thursday, April 29, 2021, to one count of transporting a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and four counts of sexually abusing a minor, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri.

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By ROBERT A. CRONKLETON | The Kansas City Star | Published: April 30, 2021

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Tribune News Service) — A 42-year-old Army National Guardsman pleaded guilty in federal court to sexually abusing four children while he was director of youth ministry at Fort Leonard Wood, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

David J. McKay pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of transporting a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and four counts of sexually abusing a minor, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri.

At the time the crimes were committed, McKay was the youth ministry director for the Religious Services Office at the Army base. All of the victims met McKay through the youth group, according to the plea agreement.

McKay is a first sergeant in the Army National Guard's 135th Army Band Unit in Springfield, according to U.S. Attorney's office.

In his plea, McKay admitted that the sexual abuse occurred at the military base and other locations in Pulaski County, Mo., as well as during the youth group's ski trips to Colorado and camping trips at Fort Leonard Wood.

McKay faces between 10 years and life in federal prison without parole. A sentencing date has not been set.

The case was brought as part of the Project Safe Childhood, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative launched in 2006 to combat child sexual exploration and abuse.

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