St. Louis Man Pleads Guilty To Failure To Register As A Sex Offender
On July 25, 2013, David M. Hightower, a twenty-two year old St. Louis, MO, man pled guilty in federal district court, in East St. Louis, to failure to register as a sex offender, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today. Hightower is scheduled for sentencing on November 14, 2013, at which time he faces a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison and a fine up to $250,000, not more than 5 years of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
The violation occurred between July 14, 2009, and February 22, 2013. Hightower was required to register as a sex offender under both Illinois law and the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act because he was convicted of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse on September 16, 2005, in Madison County, Illinois. Hightower acknowledged that he understood the conditions of maintaining his sex offender registration requirements by signing an Illinois Sex Offender Registration Act Notification Form on July 13, 2009. Hightower was interviewed by a law enforcement officer on February 12, 2013, in St. Louis, Missouri, in relation to another charge, when it was learned that an active warrant was in effect in Madison County, IL, for his failure to register as a sex offender. In the interview, he admitted to having lived in Missouri when the violation occurred, and not having registered as a sex offender in Missouri until February 23, 2013. Because of his failure to register in Missouri within three days of entering, and his failure to update his registration in Illinois, Hightower was charged in federal court.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”/p>
The case was investigated by the United States Marshals Service and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Daniel T Kapsak.