A former Lee’s Summit youth soccer coach pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to attempting to produce child pornography by secretly video recording his players.
Joel D. White, 40, of Lee’s Summit, pleaded guilty to three counts of attempting to produce child pornography. He remains in federal custody without being able to post bond.
White, who coached girls under-12 and girls under-15 teams through the Lee’s Summit Soccer Association, admitted he recorded 11 child victims without their knowledge or consent while they were changing clothes in his daughter’s bedroom at his home.
White recorded the 11- and 12-year-old girls 10 to 15 times between May and October in 2012. He also admitted he inappropriately touched a young girl with his hand and mouth while she was sleeping at his house and recorded the incident.
White was shown on video positioning a camera in a bedroom in his home so that it was hidden, and it shows him recovering the camera after the girls left the room. In one video, as he recovers the camera, White looks into the camera and shows two thumbs up.
Police officers in Commerce City, Colo., discovered the videos of nude minors on White’s camera after he was arrested in March 2013 for felony stealing of soccer-related items and merchandise at a stadium in the Denver area where he was attending a U.S. World Cup qualifying game. White was in possession of several stolen items in a backpack and officers found more items in his hotel room.
Police recovered White’s cameras, computer and computer media during the course of the stealing investigation. While investigating the possibility that White was placing ads on Craigslist to sell the stolen items, detectives discovered the videos of the girls changing clothes and contacted the Lee’s Summit Police Department, which began the child porn investigation.
Under federal law through the Project Safe Childhood initiative, White faces a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison without parole on each of the three counts, plus a fine of up to $250,000 on each count and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled at a later date.