project safe childhood
former lansing police officer, school board member pleads 'no contest' to attempted sex with a minor
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Lansing, Kan., police officer and school board member pleaded “no contest” in federal court today to attempting to entice a minor for illicit sex.
William Brian Duncan, 40, of Leavenworth, Kan., entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to the charges contained in a Jan. 4, 2011, federal indictment. Duncan was taken into federal custody at the conclusion of today’s hearing.
Duncan was charged with using the Internet to attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, and with crossing the state line to attempt to engage in a sexual act with a minor. Duncan was an officer with the Lansing, Kan., Police Department until November 2010. He had been a DARE officer and coordinator of the Safe Kids program and was named Officer of the Year in 2008. Duncan resigned from the Lansing School Board in November 2010.
Duncan acknowledged that he communicated online with a person he believed to be 14 years old. In reality, Duncan was communicating with an undercover law enforcement officer. Duncan corresponded with the undercover officer on multiple occasions in December 2010; many of the conversations were sexual in nature.
According to the government’s factual basis for today’s plea, Duncan began making arrangements to meet with the minor in person during an online chat on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2010. Duncan drove from his residence in Kansas to the meeting location in Missouri the next day with the intent to engage in sex with the 14-year-old minor, the government contends. When Duncan approached the location, he was pulled over by a Kansas City, Mo., police officer and arrested.
Under federal statutes, Duncan is subject to a mandatory sentence of 10 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of life in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore and Senior Litigation Counsel Gregg R. Coonrod. It was investigated by the FBI Cyber Crimes Task Force.
Project Safe Childhood
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 exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.