Kansas National Guard soldier pleads guilty to sexually exploiting 11-year-old
The Kansas City Star March 3, 2022
(Tribune News Service) — A southeastern Kansas man with the Army National Guard has pleaded guilty to compelling an 11-year-old from southwestern Missouri to make child pornography, according to prosecutors.
Christian Sinclair, 21, of Chanute, entered the guilty plea during a hearing Wednesday in the Western District of Missouri's federal courthouse in Springfield. He faced one count of sexual exploitation of a child.
Prosecutors said the crimes occurred between August 2020 and June 2021. They came to light after a captain with the Kansas National Guard reported to police that Sinclair was sending sexual text messages to the 11-year-old while their unit was deployed in Arizona.
Sinclair's fiancée at the time told the commander that her partner had admitted to cheating on her with the child, prosecutors said. Investigators later learned that the child sent pornographic pictures requested by Sinclair over Snapchat.
According to prosecutors, Sinclair faces a minimum sentence of 15 years in prison without the possibility of parole under federal law.
Law enforcement investigating the case included the FBI, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes task force and several local agencies in Kansas, Arizona and Missouri. The case was prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a federal initiative aimed toward combating the abuse and sexual exploitation of children.
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