Columbia man pleads guilty in child pornography case

1 year 8 months 1 day ago Friday, January 20 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 4:43:00 PM CST January 20, 2017 in Top Stories
By: Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

COLUMBIA — A Columbia man has pled guilty Friday to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of posession of child pornography and one count of of felony invasion of privacy.

Steve O'Neill, 35, was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. 

According to the Boone County's Sheriffs Department, the investigation began in Aug. 2015 when the Cyber Crimes Task Force was alerted from a report by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. An anonymous person reported a person in the Columbia area.

An investigator with the task force contacted several individuals that led the task force to O'Neill's residence where investigators found a computer containing numerous images created by O'Neill, who had videotaped and photographed females without the victims knowledge, some of who were undressed. Investigators learned one of the victims was a child under 14 years-old. 

After further investigation, further evidence was uncovered leading the Boone County Prosecuting Attourney's Office to amend and add additional charges.

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