Guthrie manipulated the child victim and exploited the fact that others had abused her.

A Miller County man has been sentenced in federal court after admitting to engaging in illicit sex with a child while traveling to North Carolina on work-related trips.

James Anthony Guthrie, III, 37, of Eldon, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 15 years in federal prison without parole.

On Nov. 27, 2018, Guthrie pleaded guilty to one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor. Guthrie admitted that he traveled to North Carolina on five occasions for work and, while there, met the then-15-year-old child victim at various hotels for sex. Guthrie admitted that he picked up the child victim from school or at her house; once, the victim’s father brought her to the hotel.

According to court documents, Guthrie met the child victim online when she was 14 years old. Guthrie engaged in sexual communications with her and groomed her by sending gifts, including jewelry, a cellular telephone, food delivery, a life-size teddy bear, shopping trips and nights in a hotel room. 

Guthrie manipulated the child victim and exploited the fact that others had abused her.

Guthrie also admitted that he communicated about sexual matters with the child victim and received pornographic images and videos from her. Investigators examined Guthrie’s laptop, hard drive and DVD-R disks, which contained images of child pornography. 

Guthrie admitted to communicating with other individuals he believed to be minors in a sexual manner, and to receiving self-produced pornographic images from 13-to-14-year-old children.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley S. Turner. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Lebanon, Mo., Police Department and the Lake Area ICAC Task Force.