Ex-camp worker gets 20 years for exploiting kids

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Springfield man who formerly worked at a southwest Missouri YMCA camp has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for sexually exploiting a teenage boy.

Matthew O’Dell, 29, was sentenced Wednesday in federal court in Springfield. After he completes his prison sentence, he will spend the rest of his life on supervised release.

O’Dell admitted in his plea agreement last year that he made a video recording of a 13-year-old boy engaged in sexually explicit conduct between Jan. 1, 2005, and May 30, 2006, at his home.

Springfield police found the video in a storage facility in 2009 while they were investigating a separate case involving a 15-year-old boy who accused O’Dell of molesting him at a Springfield hotel.

O’Dell had been charged with sexually exploiting two minors and possessing child pornography, but two of those charges were dropped. In his plea deal, he agreed that the dismissed charges would be taken into account when he was sentenced.

Prosecutors say the court heard testimony about several other alleged victims of O’Dell prior to his sentencing.

His attorneys had sought a 15-year prison term.

O’Dell was formerly employed at YMCA’s Camp Wakonda in Lawrence County west of Springfield.

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