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Rapid City man accused of creating child porn
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Rapid City man accused of creating child porn

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Federal Courthouse

The Federal Courthouse in Rapid City.

A Rapid City man has been accused of sexually exploiting an underage girl by producing and keeping child pornography images of her, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Dakota. 

Vance Allan Warthen, 22, pleaded not guilty Jan. 17 after being indicted on one count of sexually exploiting a minor and one count of possessing child porn in August in Rapid City, court records show. He is detained without bond after a judge found he poses a public safety and flight risk. 

If convicted of the exploitation charge, Warthen would face a mandatory minimum punishment of 15 years in prison with a maximum of 30 years. He would face a maximum 10-year prison sentence if convicted of the child porn charge. 

The indictment says Warthen's alleged crimes involved interstate and foreign commerce — likely via the internet — which would explain why he is charged in federal rather than state court. 

The investigation into Warthen was conducted by the Rapid City Police Department, Pennington County Sheriff's Office, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, the news release says. 

— Contact Arielle Zionts at arielle.zionts@rapidcityjournal.com

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