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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On April 27, 2018, Joseph Michael Willard, 54, was indicted in in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the production and possession of child pornography. The indictment alleges that Willard produced and possessed images of minors – including one under age 12 – engaged in sexually explicit conduct. The case was investigated by the Bethlehem Pennsylvania Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
During the investigation in Pennsylvania, investigators discovered that Willard, a registered sex offender in Missouri, had traveled and worked in various communities including Springfield, Mo., and operated a professional photography business specializing in child photography between 2014 and 2017. While in Springfield, it is believed that Willard conducted business under the alias of Jay Michaels. Using the limited information provided by investigators in Pennsylvania, the Springfield Police Department has been able to identify and contact parents of children in Springfield photographed by Willard. The information provided by Pennsylvania investigators also included information regarding other unidentified victims in the Springfield area that were photographed by Willard.
Detectives continue to investigate and are asking anyone who has information about this incident or anyone believing their child was photographed by Willard to contact the Springfield Police Department at 417-864-1810 or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 417-869-8477.
Photo of Joseph Michael Willard
Photo of Joseph Michael Willard - 2
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Case number: 18-11587 Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer 417-864-1786 LCox@springfieldmo.gov Release authorized by: Lt. Culley Wilson