An Indiana man is accused to walking from an Indianapolis suburb to Wisconsin to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Tommy Lee Jenkins, 32, of Whitestown, Indiana, was charged with using a computer to persuade, entice or induce a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
If convicted, Jenkins, who is formerly from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, WXIN reported. The maximum sentence is life imprisonment, the television station reported.
According to the Justice Department, on Oct. 1 Jenkins began exchanging instant messages with a person he believed was a 14-year-old girl named Kylee, according to the Oshkosh Northwestern. "Kylee" was an investigator with the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office, the newspaper reported.
According to the Justice Department, Jenkins asked the girl for photos of a sexual nature. When she refused his requests to visit Whitestown, Jenkins began walking the approximately 351-mile trip to Neenah, Wisconsin, WISN-TV reported.
Prosecutors said Jenkins documented his walk with selfies and photos of exit signs, the television station reported.
When Jenkins arrived in Winnebago County on Thursday, sheriff's deputies and FBI agents arrested him, according to the Oshkosh Northwestern.
“Our nation faces an epidemic of child sexual abuse, with the Internet making it too easy for predators to communicate with children across the country,” U.S. Attorney Matthew D. Krueger of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, said in a news release. “The Justice Department is committed to working with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to prosecute child sexual abuse aggressively.”
In 2011, Winnebago County prosecutors charged Jenkins with two counts of repeated first-degree sexual assault of the same child, the Oshkosh Northwestern reported. Those charges were later reduced to four counts of child abuse and he was sentenced in 2012 to four years of probation, the newspaper reported.
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