Springfield man pleads guilty to child porn instead of beginning criminal trial

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- A man charged with receiving and distributing child pornography pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday instead of beginning his criminal jury trial.

According to a press release from the Acting United States Attorney Teresa A. Moore, 55-year-old Scott James Wells withdrew his plea of not guilty in order to enter a nolo contender, or “no contest,” plea, neither admitting nor disputing the federal charges against him, but acknowledging the government had sufficient evidence to convict him of the crimes charged beyond a reasonable doubt.

Wells will remain in federal custody until his sentencing hearing. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

According to the release, Wells received child porn online between December 15, 2016, through March 22, 2017. Authorities received two reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children after Wells used a social media account to transfer two other images of child porn from a Facebook user.

Officers also searched Wells’ home and found a laptop with child porn images on it.

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