SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Rogersville, Missouri, man has been indicted by a federal grand jury for the sexual exploitation of three child victims.
Jake Ethan Patterson, 26, was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield, Mo., on Wednesday, November 17. The federal indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed against Patterson on November 2, 2021. Patterson has been detained in federal custody since his arrest on the complaint.
The indictment charges Patterson with three counts of the sexual exploitation of a child, each involving a separate child victim. Patterson allegedly used each of the child victims to produce child pornography. Patterson is also charged with one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original criminal complaint, the investigation began in June 2021 when Canadian law enforcement authorities seized two cell phones belonging to a citizen of Canada. Investigators found Snapchat conversations with Patterson, who was sharing images and videos of child pornography. There were multiple pornographic images and videos of the three child victims, the affidavit says, two of whom were approximately three to five years old and one of whom was approximately 12 years old.
During the Canadian investigation, Snapchat submitted a Cyber Tip on July 4, 2021, alleging that Patterson had uploaded a child pornography file the previous day. A review of the file found that this image was a commonly traded child pornography video often found in child pornography collections and does not depict the three victims in this case.
The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie L. Wan. It was investigated by the FBI, the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Childhood
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 www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Western District of Missouri