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Vernon County man sentenced child sexual abuse, porn case

Joplin Globe - 5/25/2019

May 25-- May 25--NEVADA, Mo. -- A Vernon County judge sentenced a rural Nevada man to 10 years in prison when he pleaded guilty recently to child pornography and child sexual abuse charges.

Nathaniel W. Gordon, 41, pleaded guilty May 17 in Vernon County Circuit Court to possession of child pornography and to two counts of second-degree statutory sodomy. Circuit Judge David Munton assessed Gordon concurrent terms of 10 years on the child pornography count and seven years on each of the statutory sodomy convictions.

The convictions stem from a joint investigation by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force and the Vernon County Sheriff's Department in January of this year.

Gordon was interviewed by a task force investigator Jan. 15 and admitted using social media sites such as Kik and Tumblr and receiving links on Kik to child pornography. He told the investigator that he had not been online for two or three months but liked to look at boys in their early teens, according to a probable-cause affidavit filed in the case.

A sheriff's investigator went a day after the interview to the address where Gordon had been living and learned from another occupant that Gordon had been using her laptop computer prior to December 2018 and had more or less taken over the device, opening an account on it with a protected password and not letting anyone else use the laptop.

The detective obtained consent of the owner to take the laptop and a search warrant was obtained to examine it. According to the affidavit, at least 57 photos of suspected child pornography were discovered in its contents, primarily nude images of boys. During the course of the investigation, information was received that Gordon may have sexually abused a 14-year-old boy. During an interview at the Children's Center in Nevada, the boy told investigators that Gordon sexually abused him three times in the summer of 2018.

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