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Former local man gets 37 years for sodomy, porn

By Shana Haines
Landmark reporter

A former Platte City man has been given a combined sentence of 37 years and seven months in state and federal penal institutions for charges related to sodomy and child pornography.

Andy M. Deuninck, 41, pleaded guilty in Platte County Circuit Court Tuesday morning and was sentenced to 25 years in state prison for charges of statutory sodomy in the first degree.

On Monday, Deuninck was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan., to 12 years and seven months in federal prison without parole for charges of child pornography. According to the Office of the United States Attorney Western District of Missouri, Deuninck's sentence is the maximum sentence available under federal sentencing guidelines.

On July 8, Deuninck pleaded guilty to producing child pornography. He admitted before Presiding Circuit Judge Owens Lee Hull Jr. that he had deviate sexual intercourse with a 4-year-old girl between Nov. 9, 1995 and June 1, 2000.

Following the sentencing on Tuesday, a press conference was held by Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd and assistant U.S. Attorney Roseann Ketchmark.

Zahnd said the cooperation between his office and the U.S. Attorney's office helped get an effective sentence.

"By working together with the U.S. Attorney's office to prosecute the defendant at both the state and federal levels, we were able to guarantee that he will spend more than two decades behind bars," Zahnd said.

"The defendant sodomized a young girl and then sent pictures of his sickening crime across the Internet," Zahnd said. "The absolutely horrible nature of this man's actions warranted every effort to bring him to justice and see that he spends a long, long time in prison."

According to Zahnd the investigation began when a New York woman's husband, who had been having an on-line affair with Deuninck, found child pornography on their home computer and contacted the Department of Social Services in New York on Aug. 4, 2000.

The man told authorities that when his wife left him, he began searching their home computer for information about her whereabouts and discovered images of child pornography that had been sent by Deuninck. In computer records of their Internet chat session, Deuninck described in detail how he molested a 4 year-old girl.

The Missouri Division of Family Services, after receiving a report from New York, contacted the Platte City Police Department. The case was then further investigated by Sgt. Dennis Trabue of the Platte City Police Department.

Deuninck admitted in federal court that he took pornographic photos of a 4-year-old girl between Dec. 25, 1999, and March 7, 2000, and transmitted those photos over the Internet. He also admitted that between Oct. 1, 1999, and June 1, 2000, he transmitted over the Internet at least 20 images of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. Some of the photos portrayed minors under the age of 12. Some of the images portrayed sadistic and masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence.

Deuninck transported the child pornography from his home in Platte City to his office at the Munson Army Health Center at Ft. Leavenworth, Kan., where he worked for Science Applications International Corporation. Deuninck loaded those images on his work computer and transmitted them over the Internet from his work computer to the woman in New York.

According to Ketchmark, the woman in New York will face sentencing Oct. 14.

U.S. Attorney Todd Graves was in Washington, D.C. and unable to attend Tuesday's press conference. In a written statement issued by his office, Graves said:

"Our goal was to gain the harshest punishment possible for the scope of the defendant's criminal behavior. Federal statutes provide a harsher punishment than state law for the child pornography violation, while state court was a better venue to get the longest possible sentence on the sodomy violation."

The federal case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katharine Fincham and David M. Ketchmark. The state case was prosecuted by David M. Ketchmark, who has been cross-designated as an assistant prosecuting attorney for the Platte County Prosecutor's Office.

The case was investigated by the Platte City Police, the Kansas City Police Dept., the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Brooklyn, New York Police Department.