Man pleads guilty to child porn charges

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A convicted sex offender accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting two southeast Missouri children has pleaded guilty to federal charges, prosecutors said Thursday.

Jeffrey Dean Shelton, 46, of Poplar Bluff, pleaded guilty Wednesday to attempted production of child pornography, production of child pornography and possession of child pornography, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said Thursday in a release.

Prosecutors said Shelton abducted a 5-year-old girl in October 2012 and produced videos of the child engaged in sexual conduct at his Butler County home. Authorities also said Shelton’s cellphone contained other visual depictions of another 10-year-old girl engaged in sexual activity.

As part of a plea agreement, Shelton also admitted to having more than 200 images of child pornography on a computer hard drive, according to the prosecutor’s office.

State charges against Shelton in the case were dismissed in December after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on the child pornography charges.

Shelton, who also spent more than 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting children in Texas in the early 1990s, faces a total of up to 120 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count in Missouri. Sentencing has been scheduled for July 15 in Cape Girardeau.

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