News and Press Releases

pierce city man sentenced to 19 years in proson
for enticing a minor for illicit sex

October 2, 2012

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Pierce City, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for enticing a minor for illicit sex.

William Rohe, 55, of Pierce City, Mo., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to 19 years and seven months in federal prison without parole.

On May 22, 2012, Rohe pleaded guilty to using the Internet to attempt to induce a minor under the age of 14 to engage in illicit sexual activity.

On April 22, 2011, members of the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Taskforce were contacted by the Pierce City Chief of Police who reported that a 14-year-old minor had been repeatedly contacted by Rohe through his Facebook account. After the detectives spoke with the juvenile’s parents, they permitted the investigators to take over their child’s Facebook account. A detective later created a fictitious Facebook profile of a 13-year-old minor. Using that profile, the investigators sent a friend request to Rohe, who accepted the friend request and immediately began sending messages to the fictitious account.

Beginning on Aug. 5, 2011, Rohe and the undercover officer exchanged numerous text messages, Facebook chats and postings, via the Internet and cell phone. Rohe asked for a meeting at the Pierce City Park and informed the undercover officer that he intended to engage in deviate sexual intercourse when they met.

On Aug. 6, 2011, investigators set up surveillance and awaited Rohe’s arrival at the park. When Rohe arrived at the prearranged meeting place he was placed under arrest.

Rohe’s residence was later searched, yielding the seizure of multiple computers and hard drives. The computers were previewed with forensic software and were found to contain child pornography.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James J. Kelleher. It was investigated by the Southwest Missouri Cybercrimes Task Force, the Jasper County, Mo., Sheriff=s Department, the Pierce City, Mo., Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations.

Project Safe Childhood
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 . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

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