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Naylor man sentenced to 10 years for possessing child pornography
A Naylor, Missouri, man was sentenced Tuesday to nearly 10 years in federal prison for possessing sexually explicit images of young girls.
Billy Joe Wertenberger, 26, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 117 months for felony possession of child pornography, assistant U.S. Attorney Jack Koester said.
Koester said Wertenberger will be placed on lifetime supervised release when his sentence ends.
As part of the plea agreement, Wertenberger admitted to the elements of the crime.
The agreed-upon facts of the case say Dec. 21, 2013, Wertenberger was arrested at his Ripley County home with a USB flash drive in his pocket. He later admitted to police it contained child pornography files, which he said he had obtained from peer-to-peer file sharing networks.
At the time of his sentencing, Wertenberger also had state charges pending in Butler County.
Wertenberger is charged with felony first-degree statutory rape and 10 counts of possession of child pornography. He is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 4 for plea or trial settings in his cases.
According to earlier reports, all of Wertenberger's charges stem from an investigation by the Butler County Sheriff's Department that began Dec. 20, 2013, when the mother of a 13-year-old girl reported her daughter allegedly had been sexually assaulted by Wertenberger. The mother, according to a probable-cause statement by deputy Lacy Gipson, learned about the alleged abuse from her daughter's friend and subsequently found messages on her daughter's iPod Touch "talking about the incident with Wertenberger."
Police interviewed the girl, who reported she met Wertenberger on a website.
"(She) stated that at first Wertenberger stated that he was 18 years of age, and then around a month later, told her his real age was 24," the statement said.
Initially, the girl said she and Wertenberger talked and later he wanted to "hang out," Gipson said in the statement.
During their first meeting, according to the statement, the girl said "he didn't make me feel bad or anything."
"(She) stated that at first he did not try to touch her or anything, then (after) about a month, he started to talk about sex," the statement said.
Gipson said the girl alleged to having sexual intercourse with Wertenberger twice at the Corkwood Conservation Area, including Dec. 20, 2013.