In a deal reached with federal prosecutors, a Billings man admitted Wednesday that he persuaded a 15-year-old Madison County girl to send him sexually explicit pictures of herself.

Joshua Allen Morgan, 28, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Billings to the receipt of child porn. The plea agreement calls for a joint sentencing recommendation of 10 years in prison.

If the judge accepts the plea agreement and imposes a 10-year term, Morgan waives his right to appeal.

Morgan originally was indicted on charges of sexual exploitation of children and faced a minimum mandatory 15 years to 30 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.

The investigation began when the girl's father contacted the Madison County Sheriff's Office and reported that his daughter, at Morgan's request, had been sending Morgan sexually explicit pictures of herself by Facebook, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia Hurd.

At the time, Morgan was 27 years old and knew the girl was 15, which makes the images child porn, Hurd said.

Morgan also was on federal supervised release for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The maximum penalty for receipt of child porn is a minimum mandatory five years to 20 years in prison and a possible $250,000 fine.

Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull set sentencing for July 12. Morgan remains in custody.

 

 

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