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Ex-camp counselor pleads guilty to sexual expoitation of children

Thursday, May 24, 2012 | 9:25 a.m. CDT; updated 10:29 a.m. CDT, Thursday, May 24, 2012

SPRINGFIELD — A former counselor at a YMCA camp in southwest Missouri faces a minimum of 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to sexual exploitation of children.

Twenty-nine-year-old Matthew O'Dell entered the plea Wednesday in federal court in Springfield.

Federal prosecutors say the former counselor at Camp Wakonda in Lawrence County used two minors to produce child pornography.

The Joplin Globe reported police began investigating O'Dell three years ago when a 15-year-old boy accused O'Dell of molesting him at a Springfield hotel. A charge of statutory sodomy was later dropped.

O'Dell faces a sentence from 15 to 30 years in prison without parole and a fine of up to $250,000. No sentencing hearing has been scheduled.


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