Kansas City man to spend 135 years in prison for raping girl, creating child porn

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Charles Burge

PLATTE CITY, Mo. — A 36-year-old Kansas City man received a 135-year prison sentence on Thursday for repeatedly abusing a girl and creating child pornography.  Charles Burge pleaded guilty in Platte County court to three counts of first degree statutory rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, enticement of a child, and endangering the welfare of a child.

According to Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd, Burge produced a series of child pornography images known as the “Lexie” series. In the series, a girl is shown being sexually abused for four years between the ages of eight and 11.  Zahnd said Burge altered the photos to try to hide their location and the girl’s identity. After an extensive investigation by Homeland Security agents from Boston and Kansas City utilizing cutting-edge computer forensic methods, authorities identified the victim in the photos as a girl living in Platte County, he said.

Law enforcement officers served a search warrant at a Kansas City residence in Platte County on October 3, 2014.  At the residence, investigators found numerous items that matched backgrounds in the “Lexie” series.

Burge was immediately arrested, charged the next day, and has remained in the Platte County jail since.  He had been convicted of a 1996 rape of an eight-year-old child in Arkansas.  At the time of his 2014 arrest, he was on probation in Platte County for failing to register as a sex offender.

“This man was brought to justice following a complex, high-tech investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies.  The message from this case to child predators is simple:  We are hunting for you, we will use the power of technology to find you, and we will bring you to justice,” said Zahnd in a news release.

Circuit Judge Tom Fincham sentenced Burge to 30 years in prison on each of three counts of first degree statutory rape, 25 years for sexual exploitation of a minor, 20 years for enticement of a child, and 10 for endangering the welfare of a child.  Fincham ordered the first five sentences to run consecutively, resulting in a 135-year sentence.

“The real victim in this case happened to be an elementary school student from Platte County, but her abuse was promoted by perverts around the globe.  Unlike some judges elsewhere, Judge Fincham fully recognized the clear and present danger presented by child pornography,” said Zahnd.

The case was investigated by Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Western Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force.  It was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorneys Chris Seufert and Blake Sherer. The investigation involving Burge began with a request to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from a foreign law enforcement agency to help identify the child in the “Lexie” series.