Kody Ryan Kelso was sentenced to 19 year in prison on child sexual exploitation charges. (Photo provided by Greene County Sheriff's Office)

A Springfield man received a sentencing of 19 years in federal prison, without parole, and an additional 15 years of supervised release following undercover investigations of him sexually exploiting children online, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the Western District of Missouri.

Kody Ryan Kelso, 31, pleaded guilty on July 6 of this year to one count of sexual exploitation of a child to produce child pornography and one count of using the internet and a cell phone to coerce and entice a child under the age of 14 to engage in illicit sexual activity.

Both guilty pleas are in relation to an undercover investigation in the U.K. Kelso used the teen dating site MyLOL to urge what he believed to be a 13-year-old girl to engage in sexual intercourse with him, and send him explicit images via Google Hangouts. Kelso was actually interacting with an undercover law enforcement officer.

In addition to the U.K.’s law enforcement, it was investigated by the Springfield Police Department, the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations.

On June 16, Springfield officers searched Kelso’s apartment with a search warrant and arrested him, seizing multiple devices with images and video files of child pornography, and thousands of chat threads across several online platforms where he conducted similar activity as was discovered in the U.K.  

Kelso was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough and prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan.

Jack McGee

Jack McGee is the business and economic development reporter at the Springfield Daily Citizen. He previously covered politics and elections for the Citizen. Before that, he worked at documentary film company Carbon Trace Productions and Missouri State University’s student-led newspaper, The Standard. He’s an MSU graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism and a minor political science. Reach him at jmcgee@sgfcitizen.org or (417) 719-5129. More by Jack McGee