United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri

06/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 15:30

Springfield Church Music Director Indicted for Child Pornography

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that the former music director of a Springfield, Mo., church has been indicted by a federal grand jury for receiving and distributing child pornography over the Internet.

Craig A. Wieneke, 31, of Springfield, was charged in an indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Springfield on June 13, 2017. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Wieneke's arrest and initial court appearance. Wieneke remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing.

The federal indictment alleges that Wieneke received and distributed child pornography over the Internet between Nov. 10, 2016, and April 4, 2017. Wieneke was the music director at Ridgecrest Baptist Church in Springfield at the time of the alleged offense.

Larson cautioned that the charge contained in this indictment is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the FBI, the Springfield, Mo., Police Department and the Greene County, Mo., Sheriff's 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.'