Joshua Wood's mugshot
Joshua E. Wood (Booking photo by Greene County Sheriff's Office)

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A Springfield man who was already a registered sex offender was sentenced to serve 15 years in a federal prison Tuesday, May 14, 2024, for receipt and distribution of child sexual abuse material.

Joshua Emanuel Wood, 46, pleaded guilty to the charge in December of 2023.

In Judge Stephen R. Bough’s courtroom Tuesday, Wood read from a prepared statement.

Wood called himself a “computer criminal” who is “worthy of prison.”

Wood said he has been “medication compliant for six months” and is thinking more clearly. He also spoke about his Christian faith.

“I have not been a good man,” Wood said, admitting that he’s embarrassed himself and those he cares about.

“I have a perversity within me,” he said, and then asked to be sent to a prison where he can be treated for “sexual immorality and alcoholism.”

Ian Lewis, Wood’s federal public defender, also spoke to the judge about his client’s improved mental health now that Wood is taking his medications as prescribed.

Judge Bough told Wood he would recommend Wood be sent to the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, but couldn’t make any promises

“The nature and circumstances of this offense,” Judge Bough said to Wood, “it is wrong. It is perverse.”

The judge reminded Wood that it’s “real kids” who are being victimized by the child sexual abuse material industry.

In addition to the 15 year prison sentence, Wood will have 10 years of supervision when he is released.

Disturbing images, internet searches found on his phone

According to the plea agreement, Wood admitted that between May 29, 2022, and May 30, 2022, he left approximately 41 threatening messages for the Greene County Sheriff’s Office employee who was in charge of registering sex offenders. That employee reported the messages to the sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division and a warrant was issued for Wood.

Wood was arrested on May 31, 2022, and his cell phone was seized.

Investigators found evidence of child sexual abuse material on Wood’s phone, according to the plea agreement.

Wood also admitted he visited suspected child pornography websites on June 9, 2022, that — based on the website’s names listed in court documents — feature infants and incest. 

Investigators also located more than 100 images of suspected child sexual abuse material on the phone.

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol Sex Offender Registry, Wood was convicted of similar charges related to child sexual abuse material in 2018.

Wood allegedly wished a GCSO employee would be ‘tortured, gang raped'

Wood is also charged in district court in Greene County with the class E felony of first-degree harassment for allegedly making threats to the sheriff's office employee.

According to the probable cause statement filed in district court, Wood made verbal threats to the employee after becoming upset with his requirements to register as a sex offender. Wood allegedly said he would go to her home, eat her food and use her shower.

“During the calls, Wood blamed (the employee) for his living conditions, called her vulgar names, stated he wished for her to be tortured, gang raped and killed,” the investigating deputy wrote in the statement. “Wood has expressed hatred towards (the employee) both in person and numerous phone calls, some in which he states he wishes her to be killed.”

According to online court records, Wood is scheduled for a plea hearing for the harassment charge on May 21.

Jackie Rehwald

Jackie Rehwald is a reporter at the Hauxeda. She covers public safety, the courts, homelessness, domestic violence and other social issues. Her office line is 417-837-3659. More by Jackie Rehwald