A 32-year-old man from an Indianapolis suburb embarked on a 351-mile journey on foot to Neenah, Wisconsin, anticipating having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Tommy Lee Jenkins of Whitestown was arrested on Thursday after he completed a 351-mile trek intending to have sex with a 14-year old girl, according to a release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Lee began “exchanging instant messages with ‘Kylee,’ whom he believed to be a 14 year-old-girl living in Neenah, Wisconsin, with her mother,” prosecutors said.
Kylee turned out to be a deputy with the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, impersonating a 14-year-old girl.
Jenkins, meanwhile, first attempted to persuade Kylee to meet up with him in Indiana. When Kylee refused, Jenkins intensified his offenses, demanding explicit nude content pictures from her.
When Kylee rebuffed the indecent proposals, he set off to walk the 351-miles to Neenah. All the while, he continuously engaged in sexually charged conversations with Kylee as well as keeping her updated on his whereabouts.
On arriving in Winnebago County after a ten-day trek, Jenkins was arrested and charged with using a computer to attempt to persuade, induce, or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. It’s a crime that could mean a mandatory minimum punishment of 10 years in jail and up to lifelong imprisonment.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
United States Attorney Matthew D. Krueger stated in a press release: “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.” He added, “The Justice Department is committed to working with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to prosecute child sexual abuse aggressively.”
Child Sexual Abuse and Child Pornography
According to a report, Child Maltreatment 2010 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Children’s Bureau, 9.2 percent of victimized U.S. children suffer sexual assault.
“1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys is a victim of child sexual abuse. Self-report studies show that 20% of adult females and 5-10% of adult males recall a childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse incident,” according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.
It says that children in the country are most vulnerable to sexual abuse between the age of seven and 13 years.
— FBI Portland (@FBIPortland) April 25, 2017
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has given some alarming statistics about child pornography. “Rarely a week goes by in the United States that a child pornographer is not charged or sentenced for federal crimes related to the sexual exploitation of children,” it said in a post The Scourage of Child Pornography on its website.
The bureau said producers and consumers of child pornography operate through anonymous Internet networks like Tor.
“The FBI’s analysis of one particularly egregious website on Tor found that it hosted approximately 1.3 million images depicting children subjected to violent sexual abuse. Analysis of these specific files identified at least 73 new victims previously unknown to law enforcement,” The FBI said.
Epoch Times reporter Venus Upadhayaya contributed to this report