United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that Rapid City, South Dakota, man was charged in federal district court with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and Possession of Child Pornography.
Vance Allan Warthen, age 29, was charged on January 15, 2020. Warthen appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on January 17, 2020, and pleaded not guilty to the charges. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a mandatory minimum of 15 up to 30 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, a mandatory minimum of 5 years up to lifetime supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charges relate to Warthen sexually exploiting an underage female in August 2019 at Rapid City by producing images of child pornography. He remained in possession of the images thereafter. The charges are merely an accusation and Warthen is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s office Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins is prosecuting the case.
Warthen was detained pending trial. A trial date has not yet been set.