Springfield Man, William Shane Berg Pleads Guilty to Child Sexual Abuse, Child Pornography
Faces at Least 15 Years in Prison
William Shane Berg, 49, pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge David P. Rush to one count of the sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of receiving child pornography over the internet.
By pleading guilty today, Berg admitted that he sexually abused a minor victim, identified in court documents as John Doe 2.
Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Berg’s residence on April 12, 2020, and seized a laptop computer, VHS tapes, CDs, two laptop hard drives, a portable hard drive, a CD writer, USB drives, a camera and media card, three Chromebooks, and a cell phone. Investigators found multiple files on the cell phone and the laptop computer that depicted Berg sexually abusing John Doe 2. They also found additional files of child pornography that Berg downloaded from the internet.
When the victim was interviewed at the Springfield Child Advocacy Center, he told investigators that Berg started sexually abusing him when he was in the fifth grade. He said Berg took videos on his cell phone during the sexual abuse.
Under federal statutes, Berg is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 50 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ami Harshad Miller. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, the FBI and the Springfield, Mo., Police Department.
Project Safe Childhood
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims.