According to the FBI, Greenwell spent the past two decades leading something of a nomadic life, bouncing between Pulaski, Phelps and Franklin counties in Missouri, molesting young victims all the while. Agents say he worked at a retirement community near Rolla and for Boys & Girls Town of Missouri. When he moved to Sullivan, they say, he attempted to launch his own photography business. He had moved into the cottage in Miramiguoa only months before his arrest and had no prior criminal record.

Following his indictment, Greenwell underwent a psychological evaluation, parts of which are cited in a court document filed by federal prosecutor Carrie Costantin. He spoke of a troubled past and said he'd been sexually molested as a child. When he was fifteen, he said, he molested two step-cousins, aged eight and ten. He'd been trading child pornography since 1995.

Other excerpts from the evaluation suggest Greenwell initially expressed little remorse.

On October 23, 2009, federal and state authorities arrested Jeffrey Greenwell just outside his home in Miramiguoa Park and detained him at the Franklin County Jail.
On October 23, 2009, federal and state authorities arrested Jeffrey Greenwell just outside his home in Miramiguoa Park and detained him at the Franklin County Jail.
The Miramiguoa Park home where Greenwell lived prior to his arrest.
Jon Gitchoff
The Miramiguoa Park home where Greenwell lived prior to his arrest.

He blamed his relationships with the boys' mothers: "If I would have walked away from these types of women, I wouldn't be in the situation that I am."

He blamed the victims: One was a "horn dog and sex fiend," another was "loose with his zipper."

He blamed the investigators: "The way they showed pictures of the children around to the schools just doesn't seem right to me. That's finally how they ended up learning who I was. Does it seem right to you?"

He blamed Lost Boy members: "I know how not to get caught, it's other people who compromised me, and that sucks. [...S]eems like this is something that could have been avoided if people just would have left me alone."

Greenwell's court-appointed attorney is JoAnn Trog, a partner at a small St. Louis practice. Trog says her client declined to be interviewed for this story.

The counselor who evaluated Greenwell noted that the defendant got a "thrill" out of targeting victims through their mothers. Costantin concurs, quoting from a chat-room transcript that Brian Mize lifted from Greenwell's computer.

"At one point," says Costantin, "Greenwell says to his friend, 'If the mothers only knew they were dropping their kids off with 'boylovers.'"

Last June 22, the day his trial was to begin, Jeffrey Greenwell shaved off his beard. Carrie Costantin says she suspects it was an attempt to distance himself from the man in the photographs submitted as evidence by the prosecution.

In the end it wouldn't matter. All five victims whose allegations were detailed in Greenwell's indictment were prepared to take the witness stand. Just before the jury was to be selected, the defendant confessed.

He admitted to photographing the genitalia of all five boys and to performing various sexual acts on all of them, between 2003 and 2009. At the time of the sentencing the victims lived in Franklin, Phelps and Pulaski counties. Four were under the age of twelve when the abuse began. Costantin says the youngest was four.

On October 5 Greenwell was brought back to court for his sentencing hearing, facing 15 to 30 years on each of the five counts. The families of two of his victims were in attendance.

Greenwell's mother, brother and grandparents, as well as a family friend, had written letters in support of the defendant, hoping for leniency. Defense attorney JoAnn Trog asked U.S. District Court Judge Charles A. Shaw for compassion.

"[W]hat we have here is a human being, a man who is flawed," she said. "What earthly good does it do to just throw away the key and the government continue to pay money? Let's get this man the ability to come back out and to do something positive, to be a positive member of the community."

Trog suggested a sentence of twenty years per count, to run concurrently.

Offered the chance to speak, Greenwell apologized to the court and took responsibility for his actions. He said he'd never adequately dealt with issues that had dogged him nearly all his life. "I sought help from the wrong places from the wrong people, and I hung around some bad influences and made some very bad decisions," he said.

"I wish I could change it," he continued. "I wish I could go back and never made these mistakes. But if we didn't make mistakes, Your Honor, we wouldn't be human. And I've made some big ones and this is the biggest mistake I've ever made in my life. But I do know that I can change. And I just pray that your sentence will allow me that change."

When it was Costantin's turn to address the court, she drew a distinction between Greenwell and all of the other pedophiles she'd prosecuted.

"We've discussed often the overuse of the word 'predator,' how it's thrown around in the media," Costantin stated. "But, Your Honor, the defendant is a predator. He sought out women with — single women with children. He sought them out on the Internet and at work. He befriended them. He dated them. He got them to trust him with their children, and then he molested those children. He fondled their genitals. Anal sex with one child. Oral sex with others. He photographed that. And then he traded those photographs with other pedophiles of the Lost Boys [sic] pedophile group.

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