Former Pineville Pastor Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for Producing Child Pornography
(STL.News) – A former Pineville, Missouri, pastor was sentenced in federal court today for producing child pornography.
Ryan Daniel Crawford, 33, of Austin, Arkansas, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Douglas Harpool to 25 years in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Crawford to pay $2,500 in restitution to one of the victims of his molestation, and sentenced Crawford to 20 years on supervised release following incarceration.
On Sept. 16, 2019, Crawford pleaded guilty to one count of producing child pornography. Crawford admitted that he had touched the 9-year-old victim’s genitals with his hands, and that he had photographed her genitals with his cell phone while she was sleeping. Investigators located sexually explicit images of the child victim on Crawford’s cell phone.
Crawford was the assistant pastor at First Baptist Church in Pineville for approximately seven years until his arrest on state charges in 2017. He was indicted by a federal grand jury in 2019 and the state charges were dismissed. Crawford has remained in federal custody since his arrest on the federal indictment.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force, and the Pineville, 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.