Joplin man sentenced to 14 years for child sexual exploitation

Local News

The following is a release from the the office of Attorney Teresa A. Moore of the Western District of Missouri

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Joplin man was sentenced in federal court today for enticing a 15-year-old victim through social media to engage in illicit sexual activity.

Clinton Anthony Yeats, 29, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 14 years in federal prison without parole. The court also sentenced Yeats to 15 years of supervised release following incarceration.

Yeats, who pleaded guilty on Feb. 23, 2021, admitted he engaged in an online relationship with the 15-year-old victim, identified in court documents as John Doe. They met through Grindr, a dating application, and communicated online for several months. They also used Snapchat and text messaging to communicate. Yeats solicited and received sexually explicit images of John Doe; Yeats also sent sexually explicit images of himself to John Doe. Yeats and the child victim discussed meeting in person to engage in sexual activity.

The investigation began on Jan. 9, 2020, when Snapchat reported four files that contained child pornography, which had been uploaded by Yeats the day before.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force.

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