A former legislative assistant who worked in the Missouri State Capitol pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal pornography charge.
The case of Carter Ballmann, 25, of Jefferson City, had been moved from Cole County Circuit to federal court.
Ballmann faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison for pleading guilty to one count of attempted receipt of child pornography, U.S. Attorney's Office officials said. A sentencing hearing has yet to be scheduled.
A federal grand jury indicted Ballmann in May 2018, according to court documents.
The investigation leading to his arrest began after Ballmann responded to a post in April 2018 made by an undercover decoy from the Boone County Sheriff's Department Cyber Crimes Task Force who was masquerading as a 14-year-old girl.
The department reported the decoy and Ballmann had exchanged online messages in which he requested the girl sneak out of her home and provide him with nude pictures.
Officers in the task force served a search warrant at Ballmann's Jefferson City residence and took him into custody at the Missouri State Capitol, where he worked as a legislative assistant in the office of former state Rep. Mark Matthiesen, R-Maryland Heights. After his arrest, Ballmann was terminated from his legislative job.