Crime

Platte City man pleads guilty to producing child pornography

A Platte City man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to statutory rape and other charges involving a 16-year-old girl.
A Platte City man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty to statutory rape and other charges involving a 16-year-old girl.

A Platte City man was sentenced to 12 years in prison after pleading guilty Thursday to producing child pornography involving a 16-year-old girl to whom he also gave drugs and alcohol.

Bruce Rothrock, 30, also pleaded guilty to statutory rape, statutory sodomy, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and distributing a controlled substance to a minor.

Authorities said Rothrock met the victim when the two worked together in Platte City. The girl was part of a social group that frequently visited Rothrock’s residence, where Rothrock gave her drugs and alcohol, said Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd.

Zahnd said the victim initially viewed Rothrock like a “big brother,” but their relationship soon changed: Rothrock complimented the girl on her looks and told her that boys her age were not good enough for her.

A few months later, their relationship became sexual, and Rothrock took inappropriate photographs of the girl, Zahnd said.

The girl’s mother later discovered the photos on her daughter’s cellphone and alerted police. Investigators learned that Rothrock had been having sexual intercourse with the girl for some time.

The mother also said her daughter had previously made good grades and was involved in several clubs and other activities, but her grades suffered after the girl began seeing Rothrock, Zahnd said.

“This defendant groomed and manipulated his victim for months,” Zahnd said in a written statement. “He then used drugs and alcohol to facilitate his crimes. He is a predator in the truest sense of the word, and he is going right where he belongs.”

To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to grice@kcstar.com.

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