Illinois Man Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison for Attempting to Entice a Minor
A Springfield, Illinois, man was sentenced today to serve 132 months in prison for attempted enticement of a minor, announced Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis of the Central District of Illinois.
Jeffrey Parkhurst, 59, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Colin S. Bruce of the Central District of Illinois, who also ordered him to serve a 15 year term of supervised release. Parkhurst was convicted by a federal jury on March 31, 2016.
During the trial, the government presented evidence to establish that Parkhurst knowingly attempted to persuade, induce and entice an individual who he believed to be a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity using the internet and a cell phone. In addition, the government also presented evidence to establish that between January and July of 2015, Parkhurst posted over 60 online advertisements in an effort to persuade, induce and entice an individual who he believed to be a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.
Parkhurst was arrested on July 27, 2015, in Decatur, Illinois, and initially charged by state authorities. He has remained in custody since his arrest. The defendant was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service on Sept. 18, 2015.
The Decatur Police Department and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case in cooperation with the Macon County, Illinois, State’s Attorney. Trial Attorney Elly Peirson of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) prosecuted the case.
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 U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and 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.justice.gov/psc.