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Bail Bondsman Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography

This news story was published on December 18, 2012.
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SPRINGFIELD, MO—David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a bail bondsman from Kansas City, Missouri has been sentenced in federal court for producing child pornography.

Joseph Vanhorn, 71, of Kansas City, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Thursday, December 13, 2012, to 18 years and four months in federal prison without parole.

Vanhorn, the owner of Victory Bail Bonds in Kansas City, was convicted following a bench trial on February 13, 2012. Vanhorn was found guilty of using a 12-year-old minor (identified as “Jane Doe”) to produce child pornography. Vanhorn provided marijuana and alcohol to the minor on several occasions and took sexually explicit photographs at his trailer in Noel, Missouri, from August 1 to December 10, 2009. Law enforcement investigators discovered images of child pornography, including images of the minor victim, on Vanhorn’s computer at his residence in Kansas City.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Bonner Springs, Kansas, Police Department and the FBI.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab “Resources.”

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