Former Fort Leonard Wood youth ministry director pleads guilty to child sexual abuse

Project Safe Childhood is a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.

Springfield, Missouri: On Thursday, April 29 42-year-old former Army National Guard Sergeant David J. McKay pleaded guilty to one count of transporting a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity and four counts of sexually abusing a minor before U.S. Magistrate Judge David P. Rush.


McKay was accused of abusing four children between the ages of 11 and 17 years old "on dozens of occasions from 2010 to 2017" while he served as the youth ministry director for the Religious Services Office at Fort Leonard Wood.


According to the statement released by the Department of Justice under Project Safe Childhood, "the sexual abuse occurred at Fort Leonard Wood and various other locations within Pulaski County, Mo. The victims also reported being abused during the youth group's ski trips to Colorado and on camping trips at Fort Leonard Wood."


The Rolla Daily News reported in December 2018 that McKay was originally charged with seven counts of statutory sodomy.


When sentenced McKay faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum possible sentence is life in prison without parole.


His sentencing hearing has not yet been scheduled.