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Press Release

Champaign Man Sentenced to Nine Years in Prison for Attempted Enticement of a Minor

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

URBANA, Ill. – U.S. District Judge Michael M. Mihm today sentenced Thomas L. Bishop, 60, of the 1600 block of West Bradley Ave., in Champaign, Ill., to nine years in federal prison for attempted enticement of a minor in August 2019. Judge Mihm ordered that Bishop remain on supervised release for a ten-year term following his release from the federal Bureau of Prisons. Bishop has been in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service since his arrest in August 2019.

On Oct. 24, 2019, Bishop pleaded guilty to attempted enticement of a minor. Bishop admitted that on Aug. 20, he initiated a text message conversation with an online covert profile of a law enforcement officer on a popular online dating / chatting application. Following the initial contact, Bishop and the undercover officer engaged in numerous sexually explicit text message conversations, including conversations in which Bishop asked the minor to send sexually explicit photos of himself. On Aug. 23, Bishop was arrested when he arrived at a pre-determined location in Champaign to meet who Bishop believed to be a 15-year-old boy with the intention to take the minor to his residence for a sexual encounter.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson prosecuted the case which was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Champaign Police Department’s Street Crimes Unit.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Updated February 12, 2020

Project Safe Childhood