Hardin County Woman Pleads Guilty to Using the Internet to Arrange Sex with a Minor
A Rosiclare (Hardin County), Illinois, woman has pled guilty in federal court on September 14, 2012, to using the internet to arrange sex acts with a minor, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.
Heather M. Banks, 23, of Rosiclare, Illinois, pled guilty to having used the internet on June 18, 2012, to induce a minor to engage in illegal sexual acts. Banks was using the internet to induce a minor to provide her with prescription medications in exchange for sex. The charged offense carries a penalty of from 10 years, up to life in prison, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release from 5 years to life. Sentencing for Banks is scheduled for December 20, 2012. The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Hardin County State’s Attorney’s Office.
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to 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.”
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas E. Leggans.